BBC begins DVB-T2 test transmissions in preparation for HD on Freeview
June 27th, 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.

BBC Research & Innovation has been leading the work of the DVB group. In parallel, it has been developing a modulator/demodulator (”modem”) compliant with the new specification. 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.”

DVB will be showcasing the DVB-T2 technology at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam in September 2008 with papers, hourly talks and live demonstrations. The DVB-T2 specification will shortly be available as a ‘Blue Book’ on the DVB website. It will now enter the European Telecommunications Standards Institute standardisation process under the reference EN 302 755.

The Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) is an industry-led consortium of over 270 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers and regulatory bodies in over 35 countries committed to designing open technical standards for the global delivery of digital television and data services. Services using DVB standards are available on every continent with more than 170 million DVB receivers deployed.

(Source: BBC)