European DVB-H targets mobile applications

November 3, 2003

European content providers are considering using digital television spectrum for transmission to PDAs, mobile phones and laptop computers. This is the vision of the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) Project, the European digital TV group, as it finishes a new mobile DVB handheld technical specification by year's end.

DVB-H, a "one-to-many" broadcast system, is being designed as a mobile transmission standard for terrestrial digital TV. It would allow the distribution of music, video or other multimedia content to a large audience through mobile devices.

Standard terrestrial DVB (called DVB-T) was never intended for mobile systems because it would drain batteries too fast for effective use. It also requires two antennas when used for mobile reception. DVB-H is designed to overcome those limitations and offer a new outlet for content owners.

RTT Oy, the research arm of Finnish radio and television, has begun a technical trial in Helsinki, distributing Internet and digital television content over DVB-T. The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority has granted the project a three-year license for a test network consisting of one main transmitter with three small power repeaters.

Separately, Philips, Nokia, Vodafone and Universal Studios Networks Deutschland GmBH recently signed a deal to test broadband mobility. Under the joint project called Broadcast Mobile Convergence, they plan to evaluate the convergence of DVB-T and mobile communication technologies.

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