New technical features of DVB-T2 successfully tested in Germany

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
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Multi-PLP technology offers flexible, trendsetting and particularly economic use of digital terrestrial television

BONN, BERLIN — DVB-T2, the most modern standard for optimized broadcasting of TV channels via digital terrestrial television, has successfully been tested with new technical features. The testing was carried out during an international technology meeting (Multi-PLP plugfest) from June 22 to 24 2010 in Berlin. DVB-T2 allows the distribution of high-resolution TV based on the HDTV standard; it significantly increases the number of distributed SD channels and offers enhanced broadcast quality as well. With Multi-PLP technology tested for the first time ever in Berlin, DVB-T2 offers a completely new and trendsetting option for an optimized use of digital terrestrial television. The Multi-PLP plugfest was initiated by the DVB Project Office. This worldwide operating consortium had chosen MEDIA BROADCAST GmbH for organization, design and realization of the workshop.

“We are very glad about the successful accomplishment of the Multi-PLP plugfest”, Stefan Krueger, Head of Development and Platform Services of MEDIA BROADCAST, said at the end of the international workshop. “Together with our international partners we are going to extend the power of digital terrestrial television, clearing the way for new applications and business models for our clients and business partners.”

During the Multi-PLP plugfest, the live transmission was carried out from the Berlin television tower based on most realistic terms for channel contribution and distribution. Live content of partnering channels served as testing signals. Ten international companies from the broadcast sector had a chance to test the interoperability of their DVB-T2-compliant gateways, modulators, receivers and analyzers. Transmission of the testing signal will be continued until the end of the Soccer World Cup via the Berlin Alexanderplatz site on channel 51 with a transmitting power of 2,3 kW.

MEDIA BROADCAST is considerably involved in the development of the DVB-T2 standard to market maturity, amongst others by the successful realization of the Berlin plugfest. As a fullservice provider the company intends to offer the new standard also in Germany in order to extend digital terrestrial television into the future. In addition to conducting additional technology trials, MEDIA BROADCAST is also discussing consumer-friendly migration scenarios with all market participants such as producers, content providers, broadcasters, media policy makers and media authorities.

Background information about the plugfest of the DVB project office in Berlin (June 22-24, 2010)

The channel layout comprised two Physical Layer Pipes, jointly transmitted in a multiplex. Layer 1 allowed the TV reception of a HDTV cannel encoded in H.264, with a data rate of approx. 10 Mbit/s via outdoor aerial. The live program of the respectively leading content provider of the World Championship (ARD and ZDF respectively) was transmitted. Layer 2 was optimized for the portable inhouse reception of three SD channels (ZDF and ARD respectively, RBB, Pro Sieben). The programs encoded in H.264 were transmitted on an equal footing in the statistical multiplex with a medium data rate of 3 Mbit/s.

In terms of the SD transmission, the gain of performance and encoding of H.264 have lead to a considerable enhancement of the picture quality compared to the MPEG2 encoding used so far. Furthermore, the successful transmission revealed that via DVB-T2 several sub channels can be transmitted via one single frequency – for different types of use and ways of reception (outdoor aerial, in-house) with differing picture quality (HD and SD respectively). By the middle of July, MEDIA BROADCAST also plans a 3D transmission in the T2 multiplex in terms of the testing in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) in Berlin.

The Multi-PLP technology opens up new options for content providers to optimize their offers and scopes in the digital terrestrial TV. Furthermore, Multi-PLP allows a use of the existing spectrum of frequencies and scopes that is more effective and gentle on resources – thus, leading to an even more economic content transmission in the future.