Advanced Television

BBC DVB-T2 tests prepare for HD on Freeview

July 11, 2008

The BBC has begun DVB-T2 test transmissions today, from the Guildford transmitter southwest of London, in preparation for HD on Freeview. The transmission facilities are provided by National Grid Wireless and Arqiva as part of their support for the DVB standardisation process and the UK project for the launch of DVB-T2 services.

This follows the approval by the DVB Project of the DVB-T2 specification and this will be the first time signals compliant with the DVB-T2 specification will be broadcast. DVB-T2 is the next generation digital terrestrial transmission standard for new HDTV services on Freeview. Currently, Freeview services use the DVB-T standard which was defined more than 10 years ago. DVB-T2 can provide significantly more capacity and this will be essential for HDTV services to be launched on Freeview, currently planned for the end of 2009. The DVB forecasts the use of DVB-T2 will result in capacity gains of up to 45 per cent. Ofcom is counting on the extra bandwidth released by development of the standard to put its HD plans into action.

Justin Mitchell, leader of the DVB-T2 modem development team at the BBC, said: “We are delighted that our team in collaboration with our partners has been able to deliver such a key piece of technology in such a short timescale. This is a big step forward in enabling the introduction of full HD terrestrial on Freeview by the end of 2009.

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