Digital terrestrial TV spec may be adapted for mobile phones



Europe’s Digital Video Broadcast group is investigating approaches to delivering terrestrial digital TV (DTT) broadcasts to mobile phones, the DVB World 2003 conference heard in Dublin last wekk.

"This has been secret up until now," said Ulrich Reimers, chairman of DVB's Technical Module, of the group's plans to make the DVB-X spec compatiable with cell phones. Goeran Wahlberg, Nokia’s director for concepts and technology, told the conference that mobility-improved transmission for digital terrestrial TV will become "a mandatory spec for handheld devices in the future," according to a report in the EETimes.

DVB-X is billed as an effective method of enabling the distribution of a range of multimedia content, such as video or audio clips, to large audiences via mobile handsets, trumping 3G in terms of its potential efficiency.

Wahlberg said DVB and the European Commission were looking to combine digital TV with Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and General Packet Radio Service cellular technologies. The nascent DVB-X scheme aims therefore to extend the existing DVB terrestrial television standard.

Reimers has warned, however, that current limitations in power technology mean that it is not possible to deliver "digital TV broadcast for 24 hours [a day] on a mobile handset powered by a standard battery."

As well as the need to develop effective battery technology, the framework for converging the DVT-X and UMTS platforms also needs to be devised, a complicated procedure.

Meanwhile, mobile industry groups such as the Third Generation Project Partnership working towards a 2010 release for Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS). The DVB group believes there are problems with this method emerging spec, however, such as the capacity taken up by dedicated broadcast channels.


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