Advanced Television

Mediaset goes live with DVB-I market trial

November 20, 2023

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset has launched a market trial of its new DVB-I internet broadcast standard. This is the last phase of a proof-of-concept trial that has been running since July 2020.

DVB-I uses the internet to deliver linear broadcast channels, integrating with existing channel lists and channel numbering, enabling viewers to seamlessly switch between DVB-T, DVB-I and satellite TV channels. DVB-I channels also offer EPG and parental control functions.

DVB-I ensures minimal latencies (around three seconds), akin to those of terrestrial and satellite broadcasts. Unlike HbbTV streaming channels, DVB-I works even without an antenna signal as long as there is an internet connection.

Mediaset is a staunch advocate of DVB-I, seeing it as a way to modernise digital terrestrial broadcasting, offer a more regulated environment compared to the open internet and curb the increasing dominance of OTTs.

Currently, Mediaset broadcasts four channels via DVB-I: Rete 4, Canale 5, Italia 1, and 20. Streaming is done using DASH-LL packaging with three streams at different bitrates to accommodate different internet speeds. All streams are encoded in HEVC Main 10 at Full HD 1920×1080 resolution.

The number of TV channels and features supported by DVB-I is expected to expand in the future, such as the addition of Dolby audio.

IP-delivered content could be protected, such as for content rights protection or to prevent unauthorized distribution. This could be done natively (DASH) or through an HbbTV application.

Currently, the only manufacturer that produces TVs fully compatible with DVB-I is Vestel. The Turkish manufacturer distributes its TVs in Italy under various brands, including Telefunken, Toshiba, JVC, Hitachi, Panasonic, and Sharp. Other manufacturers are planning to release software updates that will allow current TVs to implement DVB-I.

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Standards

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