TDF and France Télévisions trial DTT of the future

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 
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TDF and France Télévisions Broadcast DTT in UHD Quality and Test the Mobile DTT of Tomorrow

As part of a joint innovation initiative, TDF and France Télévisions are preparing for the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) of tomorrow by launching two major trial runs to coincide with the 2023 French Open tennis tournament:

  • DTT broadcasting in UHD quality in Paris, Toulouse and Nantes on three dedicated channels, so viewers can experience this major sporting event in 4K;
  • experimental 5G broadcast from the Eiffel Tower, with mobile reception tests on smartphones within the tournament grounds, to prepare for the mobile DTT of tomorrow.

Tomorrow, DTT will also be mobile, with the 5G Broadcast technology that TDF and France Télévisions are currently testing.

During the tournament, France Télévisions programs will be broadcast by TDF using 5G Broadcast technology: mobile reception tests will be carried out inside the stadium. This full-scale experiment conducted by TDF, in partnership with France Télévisions and with the support of Ateme, Qualcomm and Rohde & Schwarz, foreshadows the future of “mobile” Digital Terrestrial Television, which, in four- or five-years’ time, will enable people to watch linear television on their smartphones, free of charge, live and outdoors.

This experiment is made possible thanks to TDF’s recent decision, authorized by the French Audiovisual and Digital Communications Regulatory Authority (ARCOM), to experiment with broadcasting France Télévisions’ audiovisual content from the Eiffel Tower using 5G Broadcast technology. This innovation means that DTT can be received outdoors, i.e., from a 5G Broadcast-compatible smartphone, without the need for a cell phone subscription or Wi-Fi connection.

In addition to the advantage of being able to watch programs on the move, mobile DTT benefits from all the advantages of fixed DTT:

  • Free: TV reception is SIM-free, with unrestricted access and no cost;
  • Quality: low latency and constant signal flow guarantee comfort and qualitý of television viewing;
  • Complementarity: mobile DTT coexists with traditional DTT received in homes, within the frequency plan managed́, planned and allocated by ARCOM;
  • Seamless experience: 5G Broadcast ensures smooth and uninterrupted TV reception, even in the event of massive use by many viewers, in the same place and at the same time (without any loss or risk of congestion, linked to streaming peaks on mobile networks);
  • Energy footprint: the ecological impact of DTT is lower than that of Internet and mobile networks, where video streams pass through data servers.

Starting today, 4K UHD DTT lets you enjoy exceptional image quality for the French Open tennis tournament on three channels dedicated to 4K broadcasting.

Viewers, who increasingly want to experience major sporting events live and in vivid detail on the big screen, benefit from exceptional picture and sound quality.

At France Télévisions’ request, TDF is once again setting up 4K UHD and DVB-T2/HEVC broadcasts of the French Grand Slam tournament for Paris and the surrounding region, as well as for Toulouse and Nantes on DTT channels 81, 82 and 83.

4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) brings even better, sharper picture quality to DTT. In particular, movements and slow motion are more fluid and realistic:

  • Exceptional resolution of over 8 million pixels (3840 x 2160), four times better than standard HDTV (1920 x 1080), already available on DTT (channels 81, 82 and 83);
  • Better contrast between whites and blacks, with more nuances thanks to the extended light dynamic range, and more vivid, nuanced colors (HDR: channels 81 and 83);
  • More immersive Dolby AC-4 sound (channel 81).

Karim El Naggar, Managing Director of TDF Group’s Audiovisual and Networks BU, comments: “DTT is a television broadcasting method that is free for the viewer, more ecological and accessible to everyone, everywhere in France. It is also a technology of the future around which TDF is constantly innovating. The experiment we’re running in partnership with France Télévisions is a good illustration of the modernity of DTT. Today, viewers experience tennis matches live, more intensely and on a larger screen, thanks to the exceptional quality of 4K UHD images. Tomorrow, as a result of the tests we are conducting on mobile DTT, viewers will also be able to watch TV on their smartphones, on the move, free of charge, without Wi-Fi and without using up their mobile package. TDF is actively contributing to the modernization of DTT in order to meet, along with the channels, the expectations of French viewers in response to the new ways in which television is used and consumed”.

Links: TDF Group; France Télévisions; Ateme