DVB-T2 Trial in the USA
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given the green light for the first-ever DVB-T2 trial in the USA.
A license for a 6-month trial was granted to Baltimore-based WNUV-TV. The trial aims to provide a test bed for a more efficient OFDM based delivery standard, such as DVB-T2, and will have an impact on how digital terrestrial TV will be delivered using current and future standards in the US and beyond.
Other broadcasters, suppliers and industry trade associations will also take part in the tests and the trial results will be shared with NAB, ATSC and others.
The objective is to test the impact of how OFDM can make TV content more accesible to viewers by:
- Identifying representative link budgets for a variety of use cases in different locations within the service area;
- Determining how a scalable Quality of Service offering combined with flexible transmission attributes might facilitate the simultaneous provision of television broadcast to multiple viewing devices;
- Providing data that may support the development of coverage and service contour matching techniques;
- Confirming the ability of OFDM to support Ultra High-Definition television within the existing 6 MHz channel assignments;
- Exploring technological capabilities that could lead to the ability to evolve a future broadcast standard;
Date: 22 Feb 2013
FCC clears AT&T purchase of Qualcomm spectrum
The US FCC has approved AT&T's proposed acquisition of spectrum in the previous analogue TV 700MHz band initially bought by Qualcomm. The licences cover more than 300 million people and where previously used to power Qualcomm's Flo TV service. The spectrum will help AT&T expand its mobile broadband coverage, after the company failed to acquire more frequencies through the takeover of T-Mobile USA. The companies expect to close the transaction in the coming days. The deal was first announced a year ago, when AT&T said it plans to use the spectrum as supplemental downlink, using carrier aggregation technology. This new technology is designed to deliver substantial capacity gains by enabling unpaired spectrum to be used in conjunction with paired spectrum for 4G services.
Item added: 27th December 2011
New ATSC standard for 2012
The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has announced plans to complete a new DTT standard within the next year.
It is planned that this new standard will make it possible for the transmission of 3D content and 2D HDTV content from a single multiplex, something which is already possible with the DVB-T and the more advanced DVB-T2 terrestrial digital standards, both of which are already used in many parts of the world.
Both fixed and mobile receivers will be targeted.
Work has already been underway for the past year.
Main source: Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 21st November 2011
ATSC considers second-generation DTT system
The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) board is expected to move forward on plans to develop a new DTT standard for the USA when it meets on the 12th May. During this meeting the board will be given the recommendations of the fact-finding committee responsible for determining what the next generation system could resemble.
If given the go ahead a new technology group will be formed with the aim of developing and deploying a new DTT system in the next 5-10 years.
A second generation DVB system called DVB-T2 is already being deployed in an increasing number of countries around the world and NHK in Japan is also said to be working on a second generation system.
Although it has been less than two years since the US TV broadcasting system switched of its analogue transmitters the 8-VSB DTT system used is already 15 years old and maybe more than 16 years old if you look back at when some of the systems component parts were first developed.
Since then the pace of technology has increased tremendously and many improvements in transmission technologies and compression coding have taken place which would produce a far superior system.
Ironically one option under consideration for the new system is the use a multi-carrier OFDM modulation scheme as used in DVB-T, DVB-T2 and ISDB-T a scheme which was strongly rejected by ATSC previously in favour of the existing single carrier 8-VSB system.
Main source: TV News Check
Item added: 3rd May 2011
FloTV closes and spectrum sold
The telecom operator AT&T has agreed to buy spectrum in the lower 700 MHz frequency band licensed by Qualcomm.
AT&T will pay $1.93 billion (1.47 billion Euro) for the D and E Block of spectrum licenses (channels 55 and 56 unpaired) which Qualcomm had acquired for $683 million in federal auctions between 2003 and 2008.
Qualcomm had planned to use the spectrum for its mobile TV service called FloTV but it failed to gain sufficient subscribers and is being closed down by March 2011.
The Qualcomm spectrum will help AT&T alleviate network congestion problems such as those experienced by its customers who use Apple Inc.’ iPhone, said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
Item added : 27th December 2010
DTV reception remains an issue with stations and OTA viewers alike
The transition from Analogue Terrestrial TV Broadcasting to Digital TV using the US ATSC system is not without problems especially from multi-path in the urban canyons as many stated before the transition, according to a recent article in Broadcast engineering.
It goes on to say that “For some broadcast stations and many over-the-air television viewers, the critics were right about DTV. Reception would work well, or not at all. And to pick up some signals, viewers would have to install expensive outdoor antennas.”
However the FCC continues to say that there are few problems “The FCC says there are only a “limited number” of DTV-related reception issues, but that is little solace to the broadcasters and their viewers experiencing a seemingly random series of big and little problems throughout the United States.”
These “little problems” are detailed in more depth in the full article:
One very unhappy consumer is quoted as saying that ““The government whitewashed its advertisement, fooled the public and wasted millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on a nearly useless program,” Castagna wrote. “Because the public was sold a bill of goods, most people now have to use paid TV service for dependable reception. Technologically, the DTV box is flawed, and Congress should be held accountable.”
Item added: 7th September 2009
DTT STB coupon subsidy ends
The US government's coupon programme which provided viewers access to 2 coupons each worth $40 to use towards the purchase of DTT set-top boxes ended on 30 July.
The program, administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, has provided a total of $1.5 billion in subsidies.
As of the 22nd July, 34.4 million households had benefited from the coupon programme while more than 63 million coupons had been distributed. Of these, 25 million expired and 33.6 million were redeemed.
Analogue switch-off was completed nationwide on 12 June 2009
Item added: 3rd August 2009
Final part of ASO completed June 12th 2009
All high power analogue TV transmissions were switched off on the 12th June 2009 marking the end of the US transition to DTT. A few low power transmitters still remain but the vast majority made the switch.
Consumers were generally well prepared reports informitv.com.
2.8 million homes were not ready, but that is around half the number some months ago.
Some 800,000 calls were received in the last week from people still confused by the end of analogue television in America. With 4,000 staff standing by on a toll free hotline, the Federal Communications Commission took over 300,000 calls on Friday, the largest number it has ever received in a single day. A third of them were calling about coupons to pay for digital converter boxes. Around another third were from those with problems setting up or using them. Many of these were solved by rescanning for channels
The Commerce Department received over 400,000 requests for coupons on Friday alone, and about 1.5 million over the week. Almost 60 million coupons have been mailed out in total, with a limit of two per household applying. Coupons will be available until the end of July, while supplies last.
Read informitv report at: informitv.com
Item added: 15th June 2009
DTV transition goes smoothly
An item from Broadcast Engineering reports that the DTV transition is going smoothly despite legislation to delay the official analogue switch off date to the 12th June 2009 instead of the 17th February 2009.
Last week 421 stations switched to digital transition joining the 220 stations that had already made the switch.
In total 36% of the nation’s 1800 broadcasters have already made the transition.
The full article can be accessed by clicking on the following link: Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 2nd March 2009
4.3 million households waiting for DTV coupons
Multichannel news quotes the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), as saying that its DTV coupon programme still does not have sufficient funding to clear the backlog of request coupons.
It is estimated that there are up to 4.3 million requests waiting to receive DTV coupons. However, funding for these coupons cannot become available until previously issued coupons that are as yet unredeemed, expire.
An additional $650 million has been approved by the Administration for the coupon programme.
Source: Multichannel News
Item added: 2nd March 2009
Nearly 700 broadcasters want an early DTV transition
Between a quarter and a third of all TV stations want to go ahead and pull the plug on analogue, Feb. 17, which could make for what is effectively a staggered start to the DTV era, depending on how many the FCC allows to go on that date.
A total of 491 TV stations have told the FCC they want to make the transition to digital Feb. 17, according to a just-released list from the commission (10th February). Another 190 have already switched or are doing so before Feb. 17.
It is now up to the FCC to let stations know whether they can or not.
Source: Broadcasting & Cable
Item added: 16th February 2009
Analogue switch off delay official
Congress has approved legislation to delay analogue switch-off until 12 June 2009. Previously, analogue switch-off was set to take place on 17 February.
The legislation received unanimous support in Senate and passed in the House of Representatives with 264 to 158 votes.
Broadcasters can end their analogue services prior to 12 June if they wish however, they will need prior approval of the FCC.
Source: The Washington Post
Item added: 9th February 2009
Analogue switch off delay expected
The US Senate has approved a four-month delay in the national terrestrial analogue switch off date moving it to the 12th June 2009.
The House of Representatives still has to approve the bill, which they earlier rejected, but recent compromise agreements are thought to have made passing the bill, this time, much more likely.
The measure is intended to give consumers more time to prepare for the switch-off.
Source: Broadband TV News
Item added: 2nd February 2009
New legislation proposes 12th June 2009 as new DTV transition date
Sen. Jay Rockefeller said he believes the country is not ready to make the transition to DTV.
Following a request by the Obama administration, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, last week introduced a bill to delay the DTV transition by three months. If passed, the shutdown date for analogue television would be June 12.
Source: Broadcast engineering.com
Item added: 19th January 2009
DVB-SH demonstrated by ICO and Alcatel Lucent at CES2009
ICO Global Communications and Alcatel Lucent have been demonstrating the delivery of Video and Interactive services to mobile terminals using a DVB-SH integrated Satellite-Terrestrial Network at the CES show in Las Vegas.
The demonstration marks the beginning of ICO trials in the USA using the DVB-SH standard which uses signals delivered directly from satellite backed up by a terrestrial network.
Unlike many new mobile TV schemes ICO can provide full US coverage from their recently launched high power S-Band satellite, ICO G1.
The mobile demonstrations during CES will feature several vehicles in a range of configurations, which showcase the ICO satellite-terrestrial network. The mobile video demonstrations include eight channels of national news, entertainment and children's content delivered to 7 to 10 inch video screens, highlighting the advantages of mobile video delivered to larger screens with high quality picture resolution.
One of the demonstration vehicles is equipped with Delphi Corporation's innovative 'dual-view' screen plus Mobile DTV capability for receiving local broadcast content.
The dual view screen introduces entertainment viewing to front seat passengers without compromising driver safety by allowing only the passenger to watch mobile television while the driver can access navigation, communication and command functions. The Mobile DTV receiver allows passengers a choice of local mobile television content and ICO's national offerings. Another vehicle features a portable device, developed by Archos Corporation, which highlights the potential for portable mobile video devices by delivering mobile TV to portable entertainment receivers in the car.
Source: ICO press release
Item added: 12th January 2009
Obama Asks Congress to Delay DTV Transition
President-elect Barack Obama has asked Congress to extend the Feb. 17 DTV transition date.
Citing problems with the DTV-to-analogue converter box program and "inadequate funding" of government DTV education programs, John Podesta, co-chair of the Obama-Biden transition team, requested that "the cut-off date for analogue signals should be reconsidered and extended.” Formal letter (click here to view)
Consumers Union, which called for a similar move Wednesday after consultation on the transition, has suggested moving the date to midsummer. (Click to view)
Source: Broadcast and Cable
Item added: 12th January 2009
Analogue TV transmission extended
The U.S. House of Representatives approved by unanimous consent legislation Dec. 10 authorizing the nation’s broadcasters to continue analogue broadcast of essential information for 30 days following the Feb. 17, 2009, DTV transition.
The Short-term Analogue Flash and Emergency Readiness (SAFER) Act (S. 3663) will allow broadcasters to transmit analogue signals informing viewers with an on-screen slide of the DTV transition in English and Spanish and a phone number to call to learn how to receive DTV transmissions. It also will permit broadcasters to transmit on their analogue channels the same emergency weather and public safety information broadcast on their digital channels.
Source: Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 22nd December 2008
Analogue viewers redeem 16 million DTV converter box coupons
The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said Dec. 11 that more than 40 million DTV converter box coupons have been requested, and more than 16 million coupons have been redeemed.
According to Acting NTIA Administrator Meredith Baker, November was “the busiest month” for the government-sponsored coupon program, and “December seems to be even busier.”
Americans have until March 31, 2009, or while supplies last, to apply for up to two $40 coupons that can be used toward the purchase of government approved converter boxes.
For more information, visit www.ntia.doc.gov/press/2008/DTV_40Million_081211.html.
Original source: Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 22nd December 2008
ICO Receives Experimental License for 2 GHz Testing In Nevada
ICO Satellite Services, has received a new experimental license to use 2000-2020 MHz to "test mobile earth station terminals to validate performance in connection with planned mobile satellite services and ancillary terrestrial component operations" in Clark County, Nevada.
The licence will be used to tests DVB-SH services.
Source: TV Technology
Item added: 3rd November 2008
New Industry Proposal Would Kill Over The Air Television
A major think tank has just called on the FCC to completely eliminate free over-the-air television and make all channels available for broadband services.
At a conference held by the New America Foundation and Google at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA, Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Program at the New America Foundation, said we should “take TV off the air“ in a few years and replace it entirely with cable, satellite and Internet viewing.
“All channels should be available by broadband, with the government possibly subsidizing cable and satellite providers to deliver free Lifeline service,” Calabrese said.
The New America Foundation advocates wireless broadband access in “under-utilised government and even commercial bands” by promoting the use of cognitive radio to prevent interference.
“Let smart radios operate around the dinosaurs,” Calabrese said. “This may call for the use of micropayments or ‘microauctions’ for the benefit of licensees
Paul Kolodny, former chairman of the FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force, said, “the white spaces are going to be at the forefront of showing that these technologies actually work.” He cited the upper 700 MHz, AWS-3, BRS, UNII and 3.5GHz bands as other targets. One project proposes the Earth Exploration Satellite Service, which would constantly switch spectrum, to allow downloads, he said.
“Neither Congress nor the Commission has adopted the position that the FCC should administer euthanasia to the public’s over-the-air service,” wrote the NAB, the Association for Maximum Service Television, and the major broadcast networks to the FCC after the conference. “It is absolutely critical for the Commission to protect the public’s free, over-the-air broadcasting service not just from interference from white spaces devices but from a movement to totally eliminate television broadcasting.”
Source: Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 3rd November 2008
Households not prepared for ASO
Latest research published by Nielsen shows that nearly 20% of US households are either partially or incompletely ready for the analogue switch off which is planned to take place on the 17th February 2009.
Congress is also reported to be unhappy with the lack of antenna knowledge in the country, knowledge that is said to be necessary to make ATSC equipments work faultlessly. Members are worried that millions of viewers are going to lose free television service without the installation of good rooftop antennas, which were not previously needed for good analogue television reception.
Reps. John Dingell, D-MI, and Ed Markey, D-MA, key leaders of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Internet, have joined about a dozen other committee members to warn broadcasters, the FCC and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) about the importance of antennas. Their education campaigns, the members said, need to warn viewers of the need to upgrade or install new antennas to pick up TV signals.
“The commission has failed to provide the American public with adequate information concerning the need for new antennas and/or antenna adjustments to receive digital broadcast signals,” the members of Congress wrote, noting that a significant number of viewers may have reception problems.
Barry Goodstadt, senior vice president of Centris, a market research firm that first warned of the antenna problem, said the antenna message should have been in the DTV education effort in the beginning. “They should have let people know that buying a converter box was not the full story,” Goodstadt said. “The full story was that you had to make sure that your antenna worked adequately.”
The NAB is also concerned about antennas. Shermaze Ingram, spokeswoman for the NAB’s DTV education effort, said she didn’t know if antenna education was something that the trade association deliberately waited to do. “It may not have been a message that would have been as easily digestible to consumers six months ago,” she said.
Main sources: Nielsen and Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 20th October 2008
ASO extension sought in USA
Two bills have been introduced recently to extend the Analogue Shut Off (ASO) for up to 30days.
The ‘House bill H.R. 7013, the Short-term Analogue Flash and Emergency Readiness Act’ was introduced to the House of representatives recently with the stated purpose “To require the Federal Communications Commission to provide for a short term extension of the analogue television broadcast authority so that essential public safety announcements and digital television transitional information may be provided for a short time during the transition to digital television broadcasting”
The bill would take effect from the previous analogue switch off date of the 18th February and continue until the 3rd March 2009.
A similar bill was also introduced to the US Senate with a similar purpose but allowing for a longer extension running for 30days starting on the 18th February.
Both bills aim to keep some analogue transmissions available so that transmissions will not suddenly cease without providing a broadcast announcement telling people to make the change to digital.
Source: TV Technology
Item added: 13th October 2008
Digital transition may leave only 4-5 million OTA ATSC viewers
Speaking at the Promax/BDA conference in New York City June 18, Centris’ senior vice president Barry Goodstadt said that the DTV transition to the ATSC system will decimate the over-the-air (OTA) television audience in the United States, potentially leaving as few as 4 million to 5 million households relying solely on off-air reception.
He contended the nation’s transition to digital television transmission will likely have the unintended consequence of making viewers re-evaluate how they receive local television. When they do, up to 13 million households may scrap off-air reception in favour of cable, satellite or Telco TV, Goodstadt predicted.
The nation’s broadcasters have long dealt with shrinking OTA audiences. For instance, the number of OTA households has fallen from 23.9 million in the first quarter of 2004 to 16.9 million in the first quarter of this year, according to estimates made by Centris. But the potential rapid decline triggered by the DTV transition is unprecedented.
Full article at: BroadcastEngineering
Item added: 26th June 2008
8-VSB Digital terrestrial TV needs outdoor antennas
As government officials campaign to offer the facts about the DTV reception of ATSC signals, millions of over-the-air viewers are going to be faced next February with a harsh reality: install a sophisticated new outdoor antenna or subscribe to a pay-TV service reports Broadcast Engineering.com
The article goes on to say “That’s because in many parts of the United States, viewers are going to find that reception of digital signals over the air is not so easy. In fact, due to many conditions, it may be impossible even with an antenna”
Centris, a market research firm estimates that more than 40 million primary and vacation households will have reception issues and that the government is leaving out key details in their DTV education campaign.
One of these issues is the type of antenna the government assumes that viewers will be using.
The assumption is that the TVs are connected to an outdoor antenna 30ft above the ground with an electric motor that allows the user to point the antenna toward the desired station.
In its research, Centris found that 75 percent of over-the-air households use indoor antennas on their TVs, and only 13 percent have an outdoor motorized roof-top antenna. In households with indoor antennas, the need for the TV signal to penetrate the premises causes it to be at least between three and 100 times lower in power due to loss.
Though Centris does validate the government’s recommendation for the required outdoor antenna for most households (see www.antennaweb.org), it notes that a variety of conditions in individual households will cause about 10 percent of homes to experience problems even if they use the recommended outdoor antenna.
Centris predicts that more than half of households are located in challenging digital TV reception areas.
To read the full article in click on the “source” link.
Source: Broadcast Engineering.com
Item added: 10th June 2008
Cable TV gains in popularity as Broadcast Terrestrial TV declines
Even though the price of Cable TV continues to rise its market share also continues to increase at the expense of terrestrial Broadcast TV.
In the USA analogue broadcasting will cease in 2009 and be replaced by single channels of HDTV as opposed to the multiple SDTV channels provided by digital in many parts of the world. Cable TV in contrast offers many more channels, normally 118 channels for $60/month and provides both HDTV and SDTV services.
It remains to be seen if the long-term decline of terrestrial TV viewership continues to decline after the analogue switch off.
Source: Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 3rd June 2008
ASO trial in Wilmington NC
Commercial full-power TV broadcasters in Wilmington, North Carolina, will turn off their analogue transmitters for good and only transmit Digital TV from noon on Sept. 8, 2008, more than five months before the digital television transition nationally, the FCC announced last week.
The early analogue shutoff will be done with the commission’s blessing because the Wilmington TV market will serve as the first in the nation to test the DTV transition in advance of the Feb. 17, 2009, digital television transmission switch over.
Source: Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 20th May 2008
FCC fines retailers for selling analogue TV sets
The FCC has imposed fines on several retailers for selling television sets without a digital tuner.
In preparation for analogue switch-off in February 2009, retailers are legally obliged to sell television sets with a digital tuner.
Retailers receiving fines include Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Sears, Target and Circuit City.
Main source: Reuters
Item added: 15th April 2008
Thirteen million households unprepared for DTV transition, Nielsen says
More than 22 percent of households in Portland, Oregon and 16 percent in Los Angeles will continue to depend on analogue TV after the digital transition according to a report on the Broadcast Engineering.com website.
More than 13 million analogue-only TV households today are unprepared for the DTV transition, and another 6 million households have at least one set that won’t work after analogue transmission is shut off in February 2009, according to The Nielsen Company.
The company made public those and other findings during its annual client meeting on audience measurement Feb. 15 in Las Vegas. Nielsen’s findings on the nation’s preparedness for the transition shed light on readiness by age, race, ethnicity and geography.
Full news item: Broadcast engineering.com
Item added: 26th February 2008
First DVB-SH Mobile TV Trial in USA at CES
ICO (Global Communications holdings) and Alcatel-Lucent will demonstrate TV services delivered by the DVB-SH (satellite services to handhelds) mobile TV standard in Las Vegas during CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in January.
”This demonstration is a key milestone for ICO’s initiative to deploy a fully integrated DVB-SH hybrid satellite/terrestrial network in North America” according to an Alcatel-Lucent press release.
ICO and Alcatel-Lucent will deliver mobile high-resolution live television programming to display terminals located in a moving vehicle fitted with a DVB-SH receiver.
ICO will also demonstrate the reception of pre-encoded content on mobile terminals in ICO’s exhibition suite at the Venetian hotel.
Item added: 27th December 2007
OTA TV viewers the least aware about analogue switch off
Nearly half of U.S. households are aware of the February 2009 transition to digital TV, but the group of Americans with the least awareness of the analogue switch-off include those who are most affected, namely households that receive over-the-air (OTA) television.
Results of a survey from the CTAM Pulse, a nationwide poll of more than 1000 U.S. consumers conducted by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), in November found that 48 percent of U.S. households are aware of the DTV transition, compared to 29 percent from a survey taken in July 2005.
The USA adopted the ATSC’s 8-VSB DTV modulation scheme at the end 1996 to provide DTV services in the USA.
While a recent report by the government accountability office (GAO) recognised the efforts by the public and private sectors and their ongoing coordination, it went on to say that the lack of a comprehensive plan makes digital switchover a risky proposition and raises potential problems such as misinformation and a failure to reach all analogue households.
The CTAM Pulse report indicates that only one fifth (17%) of the total US households (over 19 million homes) rely on Over The Air (OTA) TV as their primary source of programme input and that 21% use it as a secondary service. The remaining population rely on satellite and cable to deliver their primary TV programme input.
The report can be accessed by clicking on the following link: Ctam.com
Item added: 17th December 2007
Over the air HDTV not very popular in the USA
A recent consumer survey from Leichtman Research found that approximately 25% of US households have at least one TV set capable of receiving HDTV yet consumer confusion over HD was still strong.
When asked, 75% of viewers said that they were watching HDTV. LRG estimate that 53% of all these HD households are watching HD from a multichannel provider (cable, DBS or a Telco) and only 4% of HD viewers actually receive over the air HDTV. This leaves 20% who think they are watching HD when they are not.
Web news source advanced-television.com says that these findings are based on a survey of 1,300 households throughout the United States and are part of a new LRG study, HDTV 2007: Consumer Awareness, Interest and Ownership.
Item added: 14th November 2007
$697 million for DTV information campaign
In an effort to raise awareness on the impending analogue switch-off in the USA, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced plans for its information campaign.
As part of the campaign, broadcasters will air more than $327 million (EURO 231 million) worth of television advertisements with an additional $370 million being made available for further information campaigns, including public relations and educational programmes.
Analogue switch-off is set to take place on 17 February 2009 despite recent reports suggesting that the American population are generally unaware of this fact. Already, the communications regulator, FCC, has announced plans to auction the released spectrum in January 2008.
Item added: 23rd October 2007
Alpha Trial for DVB-SH in the USA
Satellite communications company ICO Global Communications (Holdings) has announced the alpha trial of Mobile Interactive Media (MIM) services in the USA, set for spring 2008.
ICO MIM will provide multiple channels of high-quality mobile video to large screen user devices.
Alcatel-Lucent has been chosen to supply the system architecture and design based on the mobile multimedia standard DVB-SH.
The company has also been selected to be the end-to-end network integrator for both satellite and terrestrial networks and to provide corresponding installation and network integration services.
ICO will provide full-duplex, IP data communication services between customer devices and the ICO satellite base stations using Hughes Network Systems ETSI standard based GMR air interface technology.
The alpha trial will take place in two cites which will also be equipped with a terrestrial network. The terrestrial networks provide continued seamless coverage in areas where the direct satellite signal is weak or blocked.
“We consider hybrid satellite/terrestrial networks very powerful solutions for providing mobile broadcast services to consumers. Moreover, by leveraging the large ecosystem of the DVB-H open standard family, we believe that DVB-SH will enable a broadband range of mass market multimedia applications,” stated Olivier Coste, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Mobile Broadcast activities.
Source: DVB Scene Issue 23, August 07, page 8
Item added: 14th September 2007
Las Vegas DVB-H trial to test mobile TV viewing measurement product
Hiwire and partners SES Americom and RRD USA will conduct a joint measurement trial of mobile TV viewing by consumers in Las Vegas. The companies are hoping to establish an industry wide mobile TV reporting standard, which will make it easier for broadcasters and operators to gauge mobile viewing habits.
This data is necessary to deliver information on audience viewer metrics of linear video programming and linear video advertising watched on the mobile service.
Source: Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 3rd July 2007
Hiwire Las Vegas
US company Hiwire LLC is on track to begin pilot DVB-H broadcasts in Las Vegas on December 15th 2006 with a view to launching commercial services in that market as quickly as possible. The service would be resold by one or multiple wireless carriers and, following a successful launch in Las Vegas, would be expanded to additional markets. For the trial period in Las Vegas Hiwire will work with mobile network operator T-Mobile.
In Las Vegas two 6MHz UHF channels will be used: 54 and 59. Aloha Partners owns access to these channels in 80% of the top 100 markets in the US, with clear unencumbered access in the majority of the top 50 markets straight away.
Source: DVB-H website
Item added: 12th December 2006
Boost for DVB-H in the USA with TIA adoption
20 October 2006
The DVB Project has welcomed the decision by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) to adopt DVB-H as an official standard for Mobile Digital TV in the US. The publication of TIA-1105, “Terrestrial Mobile Multimedia Multicast Based On Digital Video Broadcasting For Handheld Devices System”, is a further boost to the growing acceptance of the non-proprietary, open standard by broadcast and telecommunications companies engaged in implementing Mobile TV services in the US.
On news of the announcement Peter MacAvock, Executive Director of the DVB Project had this to say: "DVB-H is now a recognisable global success with announcements almost every day of DVB-H products and services. The TIA’s ratification of the specification as a standard is yet a further significant endorsement and will be seen as an important step in establishing DVB-H as the leading choice for Mobile TV implementers in the US".
In 2004, DVB-H was formally adopted by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) as a standard (EN 302 304). The unparalleled support of network operators, broadcasters, content owners, and silicon and equipment manufacturers for the non-proprietary, open standard, has hastened the commercial launch of DVB-H Mobile TV services around the world. Extensive trials and pilot services across five continents have already confirmed and continue to endorse the technical capabilities and economic advantages of DVB-H over competing systems. Commercial DVB-H services are already on-air in Italy, and services have been announced for the US, Finland, Vietnam, France, Germany, Spain, Russia and South Africa before the end of 2007.
Information on DVB-H can be found here: www.dvb-h.org
Item added: 24th October 2006
New entrant to the DVB-H scene in the USA
24 April 2006
Hiwire, a subsidiary of Aloha Partners, announced today(24 April) at NAB 2006, that it will use DVB-H technology to launch a mobile TV trial in autumn of this year. Aloha Partners owns a large allotment of 700 MHz spectrum across the USA, consisting of 12 MHz across channels 54 and 59. Hiwire has partnered with SES Americom to provide a distribution network for the planned nationwide service.
Hirwire claims that its spectrum at 700 MHz will be more suited to providing a DVB-H network than that of its DVB-H competitor, Modeo, which owns nationwide spectrum at 1600 MHz. Scott Wills, president of Hiwire, said that his company will be able to offer in-building at a much lower network cost.
More information at www.dvb-h.org
Item added: 25th April 2006
Spectrum auctions set for June 29th
Anonymous bidding is to be allowed in the forthcoming FCC spectrum auctions in an attempt to prevent collusion between bidders.
The FCC auction starts on June 29th and winning bidders will be able to use the spectrum to offer advanced wireless services such as video and high-speed Internet access. The auction will include 1122 licenses in the 1710-1755MHz and 2110-2155MHz bands. The government expects to raise $8-$10 billion and has set a reserve price of $2 billion which is the estimated cost of relocating federal government entities currently operating in the 1710-1755MHz band.
Major mobile operators are expected to bid for the new allocations.
Source: Beyond the Headlines
Item added: 18th April 2006
Modeo Introduces DVB-H mobile phone at CTIA in Las Vegas
Modeo will host live demonstrations of a new, production-ready DVB-H integrated smartphone at CTIA WIRELESS 2006 in Las Vegas from April 5 to 7. The handset is designed to operate on the DVB-H standard for delivery of TV to handhelds. The Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 platform software is used. The handset produced by HTC in Taiwan to Modeo's specification also has full GSM coverage using the 850/900/1800/1900MHz bands. The handset is also expected to support GPRS/Edge services. Live demonstrations are planned throughout the show.
Modeo successfully pilot tested its DVB-H mobile broadcast network in Pittsburgh during 2005 and plans an official launch of the service during 2006 in selected major markets, including New York. The company is currently working on the deployment of the network to the top 30 U.S. markets, with launches targeted through out 2007.
Source: Wireless IQ
Item added: 6th April 2006
Analogue shutoff date confirmed
Congress voted last week to set the official date for analogue spectrum handover at February 17th 2009. By then all analogue TV services will have ceased transmission.
Also voted was a $1.5 billion subsidy package designed to help families in need purchase digital-to-analogue set-top converter boxes.
Full article: BroadcastEngineering
Item added: 7th February 2006
Modeo set to launch video service to mobiles in the USA
Crown Castle Mobile Media has changed its name to Modeo prior to launching live mobile TV services in the top 30 markets, starting this year and planned for completion in 2007.
At the CES convention in Las Vegas the company demonstrated the Modeo service, which uses DVB-H technology, with device manufacturers Motorola and Nokia.
One of the markets is New York and Modeo will target a broad range of mobile devices including cell phones, laptops, portable media players and personal digital assistants with an easy-to-use service that delivers live news, sports, music and entertainment programming according to an article from the web bases Broadcastengineering.
Item added: 10th January 2006
Analogue switch off now February 17th 2009
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a switch off date for analogue transmissions of February 17th 2009 as part of the budget reconciliation bill, which included the DTV Transition Act, on February 17th, 2009.
The vote of 212 for and 206 against set the hard date for cessation of analog transmission and allocated $1.5 billion to assist the owners of the estimated 73 million television sets used for over-the-air viewing with the purchase of a digital-to-analog converter box.
Item added: 23rd December 2005
Senate Committee approves April 7th 2009 switch off
The Senate Commerce Committee has approved legislation to extend the U.S. Digital TV transition date to April 2009. The bill includes $3 billion for subsidies for Americans who can not afford a digital converter box. Without the box, a Digital TV, or a cable or satellite receiver, Americans would be unable to watch TV when the transition occurs.
The Senate is expected to approve the bill, but some House Republicans have objected to the $3 billion subsidy plan.
Source: Swanni Sez Oct 21st 2005
Item added: 25th October 2005
April 7th 2009, Senate date for Analogue switch-off
An April 2009, switch-off date for analogue TV has been proposed in a draft of the Senate Commercial Committee bill sponsored by the committee chairman, Ted Stevens and ranking member Sen. Daniel Inouye.
The Stevens-Inouye bill was aimed at meeting the panel's budget obligations set by the Senate earlier in the year.
The bill would require the FCC to auction the recovered analogue TV spectrum starting in January 2008- a move expected to raise $10 billion. A vote on the bill is expected shortly.
Source: Multichannel News
Item added: 18th October 2005
Live DVB-H demonstrated at the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment show in San Francisco
On the 27th September, at the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2005 show in San Francisco, Intel demonstrated multichannel TV broadcast to Windows-based mobile devices equipped with add-on DIBcom DVB-H receivers, a first in the United States. Previous demonstrations at the NAB show in Las Vegas used localised transmissions on UHF TV frequencies. This demonstration used the Crown Castle International broadcast network infrastructure on the 1670MHz USA wide, band. The demonstration included live brand-name TV services, digital music and feature-length movies beamed from terrestrial transmitters using the Digital Video Broadcast to Handheld protocol DVB-H.
The media content was encoded using Microsoft Windows Media 9 codec. Penthera's Athena-TV (TM) software system provided the user interface.
The country-wide 1670MHz allocation is 5MHz wide and was obtained by Crown Castle specifically to build and operate a dedicated DVB-H network in the USA.
Item added: 29th September 2005
NAB agrees to 2009 DTV deadline
Though the political jockeying may never end, the DTV transition appears to be coming to a conclusion according to an article on Broadcast Engineering's Automation Update.
It goes further to say that a January 1st, 2009 analogue shutoff date is about as certain as things get in Washington D.C and adds the comment that "all that is left to learn is whether the digital transmission technology (namely, the 8-VSB modulation scheme ) actually works for mass audiences in real world conditions".
Click here to read the full article
Item added: 25th July 2005
Analogue Switch off in 2008
House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton and other lawmakers agreed that December 31st 2008 would be the probable date for analogue television switch off in the USA.
While setting a date is an important step, it’s only one of many needed to bring the transition to a successful completion, and it appeared that as of last week, lawmakers had not yet agreed on anything else.
Although many members from both sides of the aisle agreed that a government subsidy for a digital-to-analogue converter was important, they disagreed over the scope of any such program. Most Republicans favoured limiting the subsidy to poor families, while Democrats favoured a subsidy for all 21 million TV households that do not subscribe to satellite or cable.
Source: HD Technology Update e-newsletter, 8th June 2005.
Item added: 9th June 2005
Crown Castle opens Window for mobile TV
Crown Castle Mobile Media has selected Windows Media Audio, Windows Media Video 9 and Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) 10 for its Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) broadcast service deployment in the US. Crown Castle Mobile Media intends to build and operate a dedicated DVB-H network for broadcasting digital television content to mobile devices including cell phones. The proposed network will utilise 5 MHz of unencumbered nationwide spectrum acquired by Crown Castle from the Federal Communications Commission in 2003.
Source: Advanced-Television.com (Colin Mann)
Added: 26th April 2005
Mobile in the USA
In DVB-SCENE Issue 13, page 7, NickDavies, CTO, Crown Castle Mobile Media, describes the progress of their DVB-H network in Pittsburgh, PA.
S2 Covers America
In the same DVB-Scene the article on page 11 describes how DirecTV will use DVB-S2 to deliver "hundreds" of HD channels to the American public in the near future.
DVB-SCENE Issue 13 can be downloaded, free of charge, from the following link http://www.dvb.org/documents/newsletters/DVB-SCENE_Issue_13-Final.pdf
DVB-S, the satellite specification, is used for broadcast DTH delivery all over the USA for both HDTV and SDTV services.
DVB-C, the cable standard, is also used in parts of the USA and since both are based on a DVB common core the interchange of programs from one system to another is very easy.
For HDTV terrestrial broadcasting to fixed receivers the USA uses the ATSC 8-VSB system and not the DVB-T standard which is already used in most countries around the world..
8-VSB is not suitable for mobile or pedestrian portable applications and to fill this gap in performance DVB-H an extension of the DVB-T system for video and data delivery to mobile phones and PDA's is being trialed in the Pittsburgh area of the USA by Crown Castle.
Last year Crown Castle won a government auction for a 5MHz spectrum slot in L-band extending across the whole of the USA and now intends to use DVB-H as the technology of choice for the delivery of data and video to hand portable devices. DVB-H uses data in IP packet form, sent in small time limited bursts. By sequencing other programs together in this way a receiving device only needs to be switched on for a short time to access the required programme. This saves a tremendous amount of battery power allowing several hours continuous use on a single charge.
The information on these pages comes from many sources and whilst DVB try to ensure that it is accurate we are not able to guarantee this.
Last page update: 27th December 2011, Barry Tew