DVB-T2 enables a substantial increase in DTT broadcast capacity, in effect 66% more than traditional DVB-T. When coupled with the advanced coding capabilities of MPEG-4, a vast spectrum of multiplex capacity is opened up, providing the bandwidth to deliver HD services as well as an even more efficient use of the UHF radio spectrum. The current capacity delivered by DVB-T can only provide 1-2 HD services in a single broadcast channel. The utilisation of DVB-T2 modulation and MPEG 4 compression enables the broadcast of 4-6 HD services in the same bandwidth and with the same quality.
DVB-T2 and Freeview HD
Over 10 million UK homes now receive DVB-T Freeview services on the main-set TV and many of these receivers use Cabot’s Freeview compliant software. Utilising this wealth of expertise and capitalising on the increased bandwidth provided by DVB-T2, Cabot has now developed our Freeview HD solution with many enhanced services, including:
- Full High Definition H.264 Video (including 1080p resolution)
- Enhanced multi-channel audio (Dolby Digital, AC3)
- HD MHEG services with high resolution 32 bit colour graphics, photo quality image display and enhanced HD fonts with download capability; enabling the use of corporate fonts and styles
- MHEG Interaction Channel for fully interactive applications and services enabling the submission and retrieval of data for commercial purposes such as viewer voting, competition entry and product purchasing through secure encrypted transaction protocols
- The streaming of video and audio from the internet including Video on Demand purchases
- Region support to enable users to easily access preferred local programmes
- HD Subtitles for the hard of hearing
- Audio description for the blind or partially sighted
- Content protection
- Automatic network and service updates (auto retuning)
For DVR receivers; broadcaster recommendations, trailer booking and promo linking will also be available.
The Freeview HD rollout plan
The Freeview HD broadcasts started in December 2009 and will broadly follow the UK digital switchover programme. However, five transmitters are to be upgraded early to enable DTT HD coverage of the World Cup in major cities such as London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Bradford and Newcastle as demand is expected to be high. It is projected that Freeview HD will be available to 98.5% of households by the end of digital switchover in 2012.
Cabot has been working closely with the DTG, BBC and Freeview to help finalise the Freeview HD system specification.: D-Book v6.2.
Cabot's DVB-T2 software
The Cabot Freeview HD solution has proved to be significantly advanced, as a result it has been selected by DTG Testing as a reference solution of which other products will be benchmarked. Additionally the Cabot solution supported the prototype receivers deployed in the BBC's DVB-T2 field tests, with trialists ranging from BBC technical staff to broadcast executives and VIPs from partner organisations. Prototype receivers using Cabot's DVB-T2 implementation have been used both in offices and in homes accross UK regions within Freeview HD coverage. As a result of the postitive feedback from this trial, Cabot's DVB-T2 Freeview HD certified solution - one of the first in the world - went into production to be sold in stores.