Pace unveils DVB-T2 Freeview HD Box

IBC 2009 – Amsterdam. Pace has given details of what is expected to be the first DVB-T2 high definition receiver capable of receiving signals from the UK’s new terrestrial high definition service, Freeview HD.

Pace has worked closely with UK free-to-air digital TV service provider Freeview and UK broadcasters, including the BBC, to develop the new set-top box and to ensure that it complies fully with the DVB-T2 standard. Freeview hopes to achieve up to 50% HD coverage across the UK by the time the World Cup begins in June next year, well ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The technology evolution that DVB-T2 brings in the form of HD channels creates the climate for a box that has broad market relevance. Pace expects to launch its Freeview DVB-T2 set-top box in the first half of 2010, but it can be deployed in any country that opts to use the standard to deliver DTT HDTV services.

The company expects to be first to market when it launches the device in the first half of 2010, even so it will still be several weeks after the start of official services from the Winter Hill transmitter serving Manchester and Liverpool on December 1. Pace will follow up its launch with an HD PVR version.

Preparations for the launch of the HD multiplex begin on September 30, when Freeview viewers across the UK will be required to retune their receivers, in order to pick up signals from within the reorganised multiplexes that will free up capacity for HD services.

Earlier this week the DVB-T2 specification was formally approved as ETSI EN 302 755 by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute.

A number of other manufacturers are demonstrating DVB-T2 at IBC 2009 including Albis Technologies, Arqiva, DekTec, Enensys, Harris, Pace, Rohde & Schwarz, Tandberg, and TeamCast.

Other manufacturers planning DVB-T2 equipment launches include CellMetric, Cisco, Digital TV Labs, Humax, NXP Semiconductors, Panasonic, ProTelevision Technologies, Screen Service, SIDSA, Sony, ST Microelectronics and T-VIPS.