DVB plans 3DTV specs by the end of 2010

IBC 2010 – AMSTERDAM. The DVB said during a press conference it anticipates completion of the specification for DVB-3DTV by the end of 2010. This will follow the approval of the Commercial Requirements for a 3DTV Frame Compatible system.

“DVB’s Technical Module is actively working on a specification to meet the Commercial Requirements. This work should also provide useful input to the other bodies working on 3DTV. We believe the die has been cast on ordered and standardised broadcast and cablecast 3DTV for the Frame Compatible community,” said David Wood, chair of DVB’s Commercial Module for 3DTV. “Progress is now on target,” he said in Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, the introduction of DVB-T2 across Europe is progressing quickly. The UK’s Freeview HD service was launched officially in March this year and already one third of all receivers sold in the UK are now HD capable with set-top boxes retailing for as low as £70 (€84.8). Italy has seen the recent launch of DVB-T2 for pay-TV services.

In Finland, the operator DNA Oy is to launch two HDTV multiplexes in VHF band III using the DVB-T2 with H.264 encoding. The services are to be commercially available to 40% of Finnish households by the end of 2010, with coverage expected to reach 60% in 2011.

The Swedish broadcaster Teracom has commenced the upgrade of its network to provide HD services using DVB-T2, which are scheduled to be on-air in early 2011. Advanced trials are currently taking place in Austria, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Reports in the German press that there would be a ‘hard switch-over” to DVB-T2 in 2014 are based on “miss-interpretation”. Kurt Beck, prime minister in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, reportedly said at IFA he wanted to ‘shred’ DVB-T by 2014. In reality, no decision has been taken as there are many possibilities, one of them would be to simulcast for some time, the other solution would be to complement the existing T services with new T2 services.

At the moment there are several test going on in the country, one in Munich by Bayerische Fernsehen and one in Hamburg as well as a pilot in Berlin during the summer. With these test many types of transmission are broadcast to address the various questions, who still need to be answered. Will T2 be used for HD? And what about mobile reception? There are 2 million DVB-T receivers built in cars in the country.

And what about outdoor antennas? Germany has opted for DVB-T that can be received indoors without the need of an outdoor antenna. Another issue is the involvement of the private broadcasters. With DVB-T the big broadcasters RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 have been very careful selecting the areas in which they broadcast over the air. RTL is experimenting with a low pay model in two cities.