DVB approves Phase 2a 3DTV spec, DVB-S2 wideband

DVB has announced that at the 71st Meeting of the Steering Board, Phase 2a of the DVB-3DTV specification was approved. The specification will be submitted immediately to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for formal standardisation. An amended DVB-3DTV BlueBook is to be published to reflect the addition to the specification.

The Phase 2a system, also known as “Service Compatible Mode” is designed to meet the needs of those who need to provide normal HDTV receivers with a 2D version of the 3D programme from the same broadcast channel, and at the same time improve the quality of the 3DTV images. Phase 2a provides a 2D version plus an MPEG MVC top-up signal.  Although they are tailored to their different environments, both 3D Blu-ray and Phase 2a use MVC, which will enable receivers to include both capabilities.

The DVB Steering Board, has also given approval for an update of the DVB-S2 standard for use with wideband transponders. The update will allow efficient use of wideband transponders which are now becoming available.

A new annex addresses the use of DVB-S2 over satellite transponders, which are no longer 30 to 80 MHz wide but may have a bandwidth of several hundred MHz. In principle it would be possible to allocate several narrower channels inside the wideband transponders, but this would require the operation of the satellite transponder with reduced downlink power and therefore at a lower data rate. It would also be possible to develop satellite receivers that receive the complete wideband signal resulting in a very high data rate. Consequently the complexity of the receiver would be high. Therefore, a time-slicing concept has been adopted for the new extension where the receiver only processes its dedicated time-slice data. This approach significantly reduces the complexity for the receiver device, such as, satellite modems for internet via satellite and other professional services.  Time slicing requires signalling and this is also covered in the new annex of the DVB-S2 specification.

In addition, the Steering Board agreed that DVB will start working on DVB-S2 extensions supporting the more efficient use of satellite transponders.  DVB-S2 will continue to be the standard for direct-to-home satellite services whereas these updates will benefit the specification by optimising it for contribution and other high-speed data rate services. The extensions take advantage of technical solutions that are available for implementing, e.g., lower roll-off factors with suppression of adjacent satellite carrier interference, and other existing methodologies for filter optimization of satellite channels. These improvements are designed to increase spectral efficiency.

A new version of the DVB-S2 BlueBook as well as the corresponding ETSI European Norm (EN 302 307) is to be published to include the new time slicing technology for wideband transponders.

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