Silicon Labs Unveils New Universal DVB Demodulators

Silicon Labs has introduced a new family of universal demodulators that support the latest DVB standards for terrestrial, satellite and cable reception.

The Si216x/6x2 demodulator family supports DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB -T2-Lite, DVB-S, DVB-S2, DSS, DVB-C, DVB-C2 and ITU J.83 Annex A/B/C standards. The Silicon Labs announcement noted, “New markets that are migrating to digital terrestrial TV broadcasting are switching directly from analog to DVB-T2-Lite. DVB-T2 adoption continues to expand to various African countries, as well as Singapore, Russia, India, Malaysia and Colombia. To date, 35 countries have adopted DVB-T2, 19 have deployed and nine are running trials. Silicon Labs currently has the highest market share for DVB-T2 demodulators among all Tier 1 TV manufacturers. The field experience gained as a result of this leading market position is integrated into Silicon Labs’ latest generation of DVB-T2 demodulators.”

Regarding the importance of supporting the DVB-T2-Lite specification, Silicon Labs said, “the specification enables 'scrambling of L1 post-signaling,' an attractive feature for new DVB-T2 infrastructure deployments that reduces the cost of the power amplifier in the broadcast transmitter. Emerging countries recently deploying DVB-T2 have implemented these lower cost transmitters. Legacy DVB-T2 demodulators that do not support DVB-T2-Lite will not be able to receive T2-Lite broadcasts. Therefore, it is imperative that TV and STB makers use a demodulator that supports DVB-T2-Lite to address the global terrestrial broadcast market.

The Si216x/2x6 family is designed to reduce demodulator lock times for both DVB-C2 (cable) and DVB-T2. Silicon Labs claimed its devices “provide the industry’s fastest DVB-T2 lock times, even in the presence of co-channel interference (CCI), which is an important consideration in countries where DVB-T2 and analog broadcasting coexist.” Faster lock times reduce the time required for channel changes. Refer to the Si2162 technical documentation for details.

Samples and production quantities of the demodulators are now available.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.