Technical demonstration of DVB-T in Venezuela

18 July 2007

At the end of June the citizens of Caracas had an opportunity to experience digital terrestrial TV first hand when a technical demonstration was set up to coincide with the start of the Copa América football tournament. At six different points in the city, each located in the crowded commercial centre, a public demonstration point was installed.

These demonstration points included an old TV set and a new plasma display, both receiving the standard analogue transmissions. Alongside these there was another old TV set,  but this one was connected to a standard low-cost DVB-T set-top box costing less than US$ 50. It was clear to everyone that viewed the demonstration that the DVB-T transmissions offered a superior picture, even on a standard TV set using a small indoor antenna.

The opportunity was also taken to demonstrate the benefits of the MHP open middleware standards for interactive TV. Two applications were broadcast along with the DVB-T service. The first allowed users to vote for the team they thought would win the match that was in progress at that time. The second application, as an example of the potential of MHP for eGovernment, allowed users to enter their ID card number in order to find out the location of their local polling station for elections.

A DVB-T transmitter had been installed at a high site in Caracas , providing coverage to almost all of the city for the demonstration. The trial was sponsored by INDRA, a Spanish company and also by CONATEL, the Venezuelan regulatory authority for communications. The Venezuelan authorities are currently considering which system will be adopted for digital terrestrial TV. DVB-T is one of the options they are considering. 

A number of other official activities, involving representatives of the Venezuelan and Spanish governments as well as broadcasters and industry representatives, also took place at the end of June. These included a one-day seminar sponsored by the Spanish goverment  dealing with a range of topics related to DVB-T and DVB-H.  This was followed by a one-day seminar dedicated to digital mobile TV organised by Nokia.