DVB Steering Board ratifies DVB-T2 specification for second generation DTT Transmission

30 June 2008

At its 58th meeting, the DVB Steering Board has ratified and published the DVB-T2 specification. DVB-T2 is a second generation transmission system for digital terrestrial television. The specification introduces the latest modulation and coding techniques to enable highly efficient use of valuable terrestrial spectrum for the delivery of audio, video and data services to fixed, portable and mobile devices.

Building on the foundations of the successful DVB-T system, DVB-T2 promises 30% to 50% increase in capacity in equivalent reception conditions. Broadcasters deploying DVB-T2 will be able to roll out new multiplexes that could offer multichannel HDTV services and create innovative new datacasting opportunities.

“DVB-T2 represents the state-of-the-art in digital terrestrial broadcasting,” said Peter MacAvock, DVB Executive Director. “Once again the DVB Project has shown itself to be at the forefront of DTV technology, with a family of standards that forms the basis of the majority of the world’s digital broadcasting”.

Between June 2007 and March 2008 more than sixty DVB member organisations have actively contributed through a series of physical meetings, telephone conferences and thousands of email exchanges to create the body of work that defines the DVB-T2 standard – more than 30,000 person-hours in total on the specification work alone. The final specification is based on carefully considered commercial requirements that include an increase in capacity and improved robustness.

Prof. Ulrich Reimers, chair of the DVB Technical Module, commented: “This ground-breaking new specification represents an unprecedented effort from a large group of diverse companies committed to the common goal of creating the best possible DTT system in the world today. We thank them all for their endeavours.”

In line with DVB’s aim to provide a coherent family of standards, DVB-T2 uses OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplex) modulation to deliver a robust signal and offers a range of different modes making it highly flexible. It employs the same LDPC (Low Density Parity Check) error correcting codes used in DVB-S2 for excellent performance in the presence of high noise levels and interference. A significant number of highly innovative features such as Physical Layer Pipes, support of Multiple-Input-Single-Output (MISO) and Rotated Constellations are also included. DVB-T2 has been defined so that the standard can be enhanced in the future in a backwards compatible manner through the use of Future Extension Frames.

The specification will now be submitted to ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) for standardisation and has been published on DVB’s website as BlueBook A122.

Vendors are already working on the design of DVB-T2 equipment, with the first prototypes expected by the end of 2008. In parallel, further work will be required within the DVB Project and elsewhere on the creation of implementation guidelines and validation testing.