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DVB to assess the future of terrestrial broadcasting

The commercial module of digital TV standards body DVB has been working on ‘Defining the Long Term Vision for Terrestrial Broadcast’, with a view to publishing its findings later in 2105.

Graham Mills, Chair of the Commercial Module, noted that DTT is thriving in many countries, with DVB-T2 the leading standard, having been adopted around the world. “It’s not just for large TV screens,” he added, advising that it formed a significant part of Germany’s mobile TV plans.

He told members of the broadcast press that terrestrial broadcast provided an efficient high-speed data network, with the infrastructure having many new uses now emerging.

According to Mills, new services often utilise hybrid networks, combining high-speed downstream data with a low-speed upstream / two-way links, alongside fast broadband, in-home networks, In addition, the advent of 4G/5G wide area data, and the ‘Internet of Things’ would all form part of consumers’ future services.

Against this backdrop, he admitted that terrestrial broadcast spectrum was increasingly in demand, with the 700MHz band migrating to use by mobile data networks. Added to the mix was the certainty of more TV channels, with HD as a baseline standard, and an expected UHD roll-out. “In future, we’ll all need to deliver more services using less spectrum,” he suggested.

The Commercial Module’s initial conclusions identified a capacity shortfall of approximately 80 per cent to meet forecast demand, which may have to be met by future technical enhancements.

Work to define the new use cases and market opportunities will be progressed within and outside DVB, leading to specific new requirements for additional or enhanced standards.

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