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November 2019: The first DVB-I specification has been published as DVB BlueBook A177.

Why DVB-I?

To retain their competitive position and access new markets and demographics, traditional television broadcasters are increasingly looking to exploit the internet as a delivery mechanism for their services.

DVB’s members are thus collaborating on specifications to ensure that linear television over the internet is as user-friendly and robust as traditional broadcast television. DVB-I will support any device with a suitable internet connection and media player, including TV sets, smartphones, tablets and media streaming devices.

With DVB-I, linear television services on the internet will be signalled and distributed in a standardized manner – individual services will not require specific apps or integration.

Additional reading

  • DVB-I FAQ – some of the questions that have come up so far
  • DVB-I showcase at IBC2019 – handout explaining the demo, including DVB-I Service List, DVB-DASH with low latency and DVB-mABR
  • DVB Scene - Issue 54 (September 2019) – a pair of articles from the co-chairs of TM-IPI: on page 6, Paul Higgs explains how the DVB-I Service Layer is specified, while on page 7 Matt Poole (ITV) provides a broadcaster perspective on the problems DVB-I can solve.
  • DVB Scene - Issue 53 (March 2019) – Peter Lanigan (TP Vision) explains how the Commercial Requirements for DVB-I were developed by the Commercial Module's working group for DVB-I, which he chairs.

Evolution of media distribution

In developing an internet-centric solution for linear television services, DVB anticipates a future where viewers who only have access to the internet can enjoy services previously only available via broadcast platforms.

Where both broadband and broadcast connections are available, devices will be able to present an integrated list of services and content, combining both streamed and broadcast services – users won’t have to know or care whether a service arrives via broadband or broadcast.

  • Broadcasters and other content providers will be able to deploy common services across a wide range of devices.
  • Manufacturers will be able make a single consistent user experience for all video services.

The DVB-I ecosystem

While DVB-I refers in particular to the forthcoming specifications for service discovery and programme information, the ecosystem extends to other DVB specifications. DVB-DASH was recently updated to include a low latency mode, while a specification for Multicast Adaptive Bit Rate streaming will be finalized in early 2020. Both are key to achieving scalable, efficient delivery of linear content over broadband networks.