Samsung Helps Move A-VSB Mobile TV Standard Closer to Adoption and Nationwide Availability

Sunday, January 6th, 2008
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Improved performance, mobile capacity and service solution highlight advancements as standard moves toward goal of commercial launch in 2009

LAS VEGAS — Samsung Electronics provided several exciting updates to the audience at CES 2008 on the progress of Advanced-VSB (A-VSB), its proposed mobile television standard that will be a dramatic enhancement to the transmission of digital television in the United States. Samsung, which has been developing A-VSB as an open standard in the Advanced TV Systems Committee (ATSC) since December 2005, said that it remains on schedule for completion and availability by February 2009, in time for the U.S. transition to all-digital broadcasting.

To exhibit this progress tangibly, Samsung today unveiled prototypes for A-VSB-enabled mobile phones, MP3 players, portable media players, UMPCs and notebooks. Samsung demonstrated live real-time broadcasting to a handheld device for the first time last year at CES 2007 and is demonstrating improved A-VSB performance at CES 2008. A-VSB can be transmitted over current TV frequencies without harming reception on today’s TVs, allowing consumers to access both live mobile TV and interactive services built on the A-VSB technology.

“Last year we presented an exciting vision and demonstration of the future of live mobile television and we have returned this year with the heart of the story,” said John Godfrey, Vice President, Samsung Electronics. “When A-VSB becomes available in 2009, consumers will be able to receive services and entertainment from their local TV stations ranging from weather and traffic to live sports and children’s programming on their mobile phones, PCs, portable media players and car entertainment systems.”

In July 2007, Samsung and partner Rohde & Schwarz made the formal technical proposal for A-VSB to be an ATSC mobile/handheld standard. The latest iteration extends the A-VSB physical later to a complete system proposal that includes both a transport layer optimized for ATSC and an application layer based on global standards.

A number of technical enhancements have helped the standard progress, including:

  • Improved Performance: The training signal is now uniformly spread throughout the VSB frame to improve equalizer lock-in with more frequent reference in dynamic conditions. Meanwhile, burst mode transmission and time slicing have been added for reduced power consumption. Time interleaving enables recovery from errors in transmission (e.g., fades) while “MCAST” signaling supports multi-channel mobile programs, including Internet Protocol data and services as well as real-time audio-video programming and rapid channel changing.
  • Mobile Capacity: Because all mobile streams share one reference signal, the stream efficiency increases as the number of mobile streams increases within a broadcaster’s 19.39 Mbps channel capacity.
  • Statistical Multiplexing: In the future when more mobile channels are put in service, the A-VSB System architecture permits optional statistical multiplexing techniques that can increase the number of mobile local TV channels broadcast.
  • ATSC System Time: A-VSB can now synchronize the transmissions of broadcasters between different regions, enabling seamless service handoff when traveling between cities.
  • Service Solution: On top of the physical and link layer enhancements of A-VSB MCAST, an implementation profile of global standard OMA BCAST 1.0 provides a complete solution to meet the aggressive ATSC-M/H schedule of delivering new mobile services in 2009 while simultaneously enabling diverse vendor implementations.