Navigating the New World of DVB-T2

DVB-T2 is a broadcast transmission system that utilizes OFDM modulation for high quality television and data services, including error correction using LDPC and Bose-Chaudhuri-Hocquengham coding to ensure robust signal performance.

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What is DVB-T2?

DVB-T2 is an updated version of digital terrestrial television broadcasting standard DVB-T, providing more channels per frequency band than its predecessor and using advanced coding and modulation techniques that ensure better picture quality, especially for high definition video content.

DVB-T2 is backwards compatible with DVB-T, making existing digital terrestrial transmitters easy to upgrade from DVB-T without changing antenna systems and receivers can still function seamlessly with this standard. As such, it makes DVB-T2 an excellent option for countries making the move from analog to digital broadcasting or providing additional channels on digital television networks.

One of the key distinctions between DVB-T2 and its predecessors, DVB-T, is HEVC encoding which offers significantly higher-quality video than previous generations of the DVB standard. As such, it supports full HD and even 4K transmission, something impossible using previous technologies such as DVB-T. Furthermore, this newer standard also boasts superior error correction as well as better spectrum utilization compared to its predecessor.

DVB-T2’s other advantage lies in its capacity to accommodate multiple physical layer pipes (PLPs) within one multiplex, enabling service providers to offer an assortment of HDTV services targeted towards home television sets as well as low bit rate mobile services suitable for handheld devices. Additionally, this standard supports adaptive coding and modulation to adapt transmission according to each PLP’s reception conditions using technologies like OFDM.

MediaCorp Singapore began transmitting local free-to-air (FTA) channels using DVB-T2 on December 16, 2013. This mark represents an initial step toward transitioning completely to digital broadcasting within Singapore.

FTA channels will gradually transition to DVB-T2 technology by 2021; all channels should be broadcasting in HD by then. HD transmissions will use existing transmitter frequencies while requiring a set-top box compatible with DVB-T2. As a result, consumers will need either to upgrade their television sets or purchase one that supports it; many electronics retailers have begun selling DVB-T2 sets alongside analog TVs and HDTVs.

What is ATSC 3.0?

If you watch antenna TV, the ATSC 3.0 technology may have come up. Although it might appear complicated at first glance, ATSC 3.0 stands to have a profound effect on how we consume television content.

As broadcasters strive to meet viewer demand for on-demand content with improved quality, ATSC 3.0 technology offers broadcasters a solution. ATSC 3.0 can deliver more with less bandwidth while also offering advanced transmission and coding features.

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ATSC 3.0 utilizes digital radio waves to deliver audio and video data, with the capacity for higher picture quality such as 4K resolution, HDR effects and Dolby Atmos audio/video systems. Furthermore, ATSC 3.0 also transmits IP-based content for viewers to download onto their personal devices for viewing pleasure.

ATSC 3.0 builds upon DVB-T2 by employing OFDM and LDPC forward error correction codes. While its technology provides slightly greater spectral efficiency than DVB-T2, its increased complexity and costs offset any potential benefits to viewers. Furthermore, new transmitters tend to consume more power which hinders deployment.

ATSC 3.0 has been around for a decade, yet many viewers still do not support it. Newer TVs don’t support ATSC 3.0 while external tuners remain costly and difficult to use; moreover, the FCC mandated that ATSC 1.0 broadcasts will remain available until 2027 so many broadcasters see no reason to switch over.

As ATSC 3.0 trials progress in various markets, local broadcasters are exploring its interactive features in select markets. Some stations offer interactive features that enable viewers to select news clips or sports statistics using Roxi, available from broadcaster consortium Pearl TV; other ATSC 3.0 experiments include showing live weather reports or traffic updates on screen.

What is DVB-I?

DVB-I is an internet-centric method of signaling and discovering television services whether broadcast via traditional networks or delivered over managed broadband networks. Utilizing XML, service lists and electronic programme guides (EPGs) are delivered directly to TVs and consumer devices with uniform format across receiver types ranging from traditional TVs to personal media players and smartphones.

DVB-I devices using the XML format can access advanced features, including HDR, wide color gamut, and high frame rates. Furthermore, this video format offers greater video coding flexibility by offering both HEVC and MPEG-4/H.264 codec options which significantly lower equipment costs by eliminating costly patent licensing fees.

DVB-I was developed to bring linear TV delivered over the internet closer to leading broadcast services in terms of user experience and ease of use. It does so by enabling discovery and navigation of broadcast content over the internet using metadata, as well as supporting various protocols.

An integral component of this is the DVB Multimedia Home Platform (DVB-MHP), a Java-based system specification for consumer video systems applications. It defines abstractions for many DVB and MPEG-2 concepts, network card control features such as application download, and layered graphics features such as network card control and download capabilities.

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Other related specifications include DVB Multicast adaptive bit rate streaming (DVB-mABR), which offers mass market scalability of internet-delivered linear TV, and DVB Broadcast Profile for IPTV (DVB-IPTV), which provides broadcasters with a standard way of providing linear TV service over managed IP networks.

DVB-T2 digital terrestrial TV transmission standard boasts 30% greater efficiency than its predecessor DVB-T, providing capacity or quality-of-service improvements through improved modulation techniques such as COFDM with QPSK modulation, 16QAM constellations and 64QAM constellations. DVB-T2 has been deployed worldwide; for instance it was first used to replace analogue terrestrial transmissions in the Netherlands starting on 1 July 1996 while MultiChoice (now CanalDigitenne) and RTM3 replaced analog satellite transmissions while in Russia it allows simultaneous broadcast of two channel packs consisting of national radio and television channels ten main channel packs containing their main national counterparts ten national channels.

What is DVB-II?

DVB-II is an evolution of DVB-T that provides interactive services over terrestrial TV. By sharing its physical layer with DVB-T, it enables a seamless upgrade from HD to 4K resolution with existing equipment working without replacement costs or patent licensing fees being assessed on it. DVB-II also adds support for advanced video and audio coding technologies HEVC or MPEG-4/H.264 that reduce equipment costs thanks to reduced patent licensing fees.

DVB-II goes beyond advanced encoding technologies to deliver additional features, such as an interactivity channel. This enables broadcasters to offer interactive content and services via DTT – the platform of choice for digital TV in the future – using its physical layer features like new modulation and coding schemes for IP packet transmission that enable higher payloads on same transmission spectrum than DVB-T.

DVB-II provides improved modulation and error correction for satellite distribution applications. The specifications for DVB-S2 can be found in European Standard EN 302 307. These enhancements were introduced primarily to increase spectral efficiency within space segment as well as lay the foundation for interactive services.

DVB-S2 also introduces a novel modulation constellation and toolkit of modulation levels (QPSK, 8 QAM, 16 QAM, 32 QAM, 64 QAM and 256 QAM), providing error protection through LDPC coding and BCH coding respectively.

DVB-S2’s key advantage lies in its use of layered architecture to reduce transmit power requirements and transmit more data over a given bandwidth, especially useful in remote areas with limited signal coverage.

As smart and connected TVs become more widely used, viewers expect an enhanced viewing experience that goes beyond traditional television. They want access to the internet, online games, streaming services, apps, sharing features and the ability to access them on multiple devices – this requires having access to a broadband network connected to their television – both ATSC 3.0 and DVB-T2 support this through HbbTV platforms.

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