Austria Launches DVB-T2 Tests in Vienna, Graz

Through the use of new coding and optimized modulation methods, DVB-S2 [PDF] provided a way to achieve the efficiencies needed to transmit HDTV over satellite without quadrupling the RF bandwidth. A more recent standard, DVB-T2 [PDF] aims to bring similar efficiency and robustness to terrestrial DTV.

Last week the Austrian Broadcasting Service ORS announced it plans to launch the country's first DVB-T2 trial during soccer's World Cup this summer. Rapid TV News reported the tests would take place in Vienna and Graz. The article said broadcasts using the current DVB-T standard will continue until at least 2016 in Austria. Also last week, Humax announced the Humax HD-FOX T2 went on sale on Saturday, Feb, 13 in London. This set-top box will give viewers a way to receive DVB-T2 broadcasts currently being transmitted from the Crystal Palace in South East London and Winter Hill in North West Britain.

It is interesting to see that Austria may be willing to phase out DVB-T as soon as 2016 in favor of the improved DVB-T2 standard. Do you think U.S. broadcasters would be allowed to switch to "ATSC 2.0" in five years and use H.264 video compression to open up more bandwidth for mobile DTV services?

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.