DVB-T far superior to ISDB, DVB-T2 beats them both

Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) has released data supporting the adoption of DVB-T, and possibly DVB-T2, over the Brazilian variant of the Japanese ISDB system.

Despite a 2006 decision to adopt DVB-T, South Africa’s telecoms regulator ICASA is still to embrace the DVB-T transmission system. In 2006, South Africa signed the ITU RRC’06 agreement, confirming the decision to use DVB-T. Broadcasters back the DVB-T standard, because they have been testing the standard for several years  and are ready to roll out services within six months.

In a presentation to the University of the Witwatersrand, SADIBA’s Gerhard Petrick said that DVB-T2 yielded 67% more payload at equivalent coverage and network cost.

Petrick talked through an analysis of ITU-R BT. 1306-4, which he said confirmed that DVB-T outperforms ISDB-T by some margin. DVB-T requires a lower transmitter power and is still able to deliver a 2% higher net datarate than its Japanese counterpart. It can also be deployed over larger SFN (single frequency network) areas than ISDB.

ITU-R BT.1877 shows DVB-T2 can deliver much greater net data rates than ISDB-T or DVB-T can in the same 8 MHz channel bandwidth. It requires much the same transmitter power than either DVB-T or ISDB-T to deliver a net datarate 50% greater than what can be delivered via DVB-T and ISDB-T in the same 8 MHz channel bandwidth. This means it can be deployed in much larger SFN networks providing for even greater spectrum efficiency.

“ISDB-T in not the most advance technology, nor more frequency efficient, affordable, interactive, nor more flexible,” Petrick wrote in his presentation. “DVB-T2 poses a significant opportunity to leapfrog a technology generation for countries still to roll-out DTT networks.”

DVB-T trials have been on the air in South Africa since 2000, with a commercial trial in place since 2008 involving he public broadcaster SABC, transmission company Sentech and the pay-TV platform M-Net, which has secured paying customers on its part of the trial.

A DVB-T2 trial went live in Johannesburg in September involving E.tv, M-Net and Orbicom. There are also suggestions of a possible ISDB-T trial using the 8MHz spacing.