The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has joined 12 other international broadcasting bodies in founding the landmark Future of Broadcast Television (FOBTV) initiative in at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
FOBTV stresses the unique attributes of terrestrial broadcasting as a flexible and efficient means of wireless media delivery. Its participants want to facilitate the evolution of broadcasting technology to ensure its long term viability and relevance.
EBU Technology and Development Director Lieven Vermaele signed an FOBTV Memorandum of Understanding at the Show, subsequently addressing a session dedicated to the initiative, where he focused on the value of terrestrial broadcasting to society.
According to Vermaele, terrestrial broadcasting and mobile broadband are both important but neither technology alone will be able to meet future demand for wireless media. “We need to innovate using them together, in a complementary way. Broadcast can be the backbone as it can deliver the coverage, quality of service and capacity we will increasingly need. Broadband will extend the range of services and enable access to all categories of user device,” he stated.
The FOBTV initiative builds on last November’s Future of Broadcast TV Summit, in Shanghai, China, where broadcast leaders formed a framework for the evolution of digital terrestrial television.
The new Memorandum of Understanding sets out five objectives for the FOBTV initiative:
1. Develop ecosystem models for terrestrial broadcasting, taking into account business, regulatory and technical aspects;
2. Develop requirements for next generation terrestrial broadcast systems, taking into account the needs of a connected society and maximising the efficient use of spectrum;
3. Foster collaboration between digital TV development laboratories;
4. Recommend major technologies that can be used as the basis for unified new standards;
5. Request standardisation of technologies by appropriate organisations, such as DVB, ATSC, ARIB, and others.
The DVB Project, the digital TV standards body hosted by the EBU, is also a signatory of the FOBTV agreement. The others are the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC); Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC); Communications Research Center (CRC); Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI); Globo TV Network; IEEE Broadcast Technology Society; National Association of Broadcasters (NAB); National Engineering Research Center of Digital TV of China (NERC-DTV); NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories; Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Brazilian Society of Television Engineering (SET).