Participants at the first Future of Broadcast Television (FOBTV) Summit meeting Nov. 11 in Shanghai expressed support for a declaration signed by 13 broadcast organizations around the world calling for global cooperation in defining future terrestrial broadcast systems, unifying various standards and promoting technology sharing.
FOBTV Shanghai Declaration, issued on Nov. 11, calls terrestrial broadcasting a "vital technology" because it makes possible the wireless delivery of content to an unlimited number of receivers. "Broadcast is, in fact, the most spectrum-efficient wireless delivery means for popular real-time and file-based media content," it says.
The declaration comes during a period of scrutiny from regulators around the globe who are looking for ways to increase the availability of spectrum for other wireless services, such as wireless broadband Internet service. It acknowledges that need to "avoid unnecessary spectrum and resource consumption," which is "fueled by competition between different sectors or delivery platforms."
According to the declaration, broadcasting and television practitioners gathered in Shanghai to plan the continued evolution of television broadcasting. Signatories to the declaration agreed on three major initiatives:
- To define the requirements of future terrestrial broadcast systems. The statement declares the broadcast industry's commitment to developing technologies "to create and deliver new media and information services" by taking advantage of future broadcast systems.
- To explore unified terrestrial broadcast standards. Those signing the declaration support exploring "the benefits of common tool sets and interface points" in development of future digital systems and standards "That can be globally supported and eventually deployed worldwide."
- To promote global technology sharing. The declaration seeks to end "broadcasting technological gaps" and calls for global technology sharing as "an integral part of the future broadcast system standardization."
The declaration was signed by technical executives from: the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), Canadian Broadcast Corp. (CBC), Communications Research Center (CRC), Digital Video Broadcast Project (DVB), European Broadcast Union (EBU), Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Globo TV Network, IEEE Broadcast Technology Society, National Association of Broadcasters, National Engineering Research Center of Digital TV of China, NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories, Public Broadcasting Service and the Brazilian Society of Television Engineers (SET).
"The conclusion of the Future of Broadcast Television Summit brings into focus the very real needs that broadcasters face as future technologies are primed for over-the-air transmission," said Mark Richer, president of ATSC in a press statement. "It makes sense to work together — to conserve scarce resources, to speed new developments to the market and to take advantages of economies of scale wherever possible." Richer also was co-chairman of the FOBTV Summit.
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Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.