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Digital Broadcasting Update


that the computing giant is looking to kick-start an ecosystem for compatible accessories. An API will be released to be embedded by consumer electronics manufacturers. This would be a huge change in strategy for the company, which typically has mostly held proprietary control over accessories for its products, except where standardisation has prevented that, i.e. with speakers and headsets.

The “control out” API from Apple will allow the Apple remote to have universal control over DVRs, set-top boxes from cable operators, gaming consoles and anything else that has it embedded.

(Broadband TV News) Mobile TV Viewing on the Increase

Mobile TV viewing is set to reach three hours per month on tablets by 2014, according to recent research. As users become more accustomed to viewing content on tablets, and as a wider range of content becomes available on tablets, consumers will increase their viewing times. This increase will be most apparent in North America where there is already significant mobile TV usage, and where some internet TV services are extremely popular.

Another driver for this growth is the continued integration of mobile services into pay-TV packages. Tablets can offer a richer viewing experience when used alongside traditional television by allowing the user to access supplementary information such as plot synopses and actor biographies. These devices also enable users to view pay-TV content or to watch catch-up services when away from home, extending the reach of traditional TV services.

(Broadband TV News) France Officially Declares Mobile TV Dead

CSA has now officially declared the end of mobile TV. Mobile TV was originally licensed in 2008, but never got off the ground. The authority had issued licences to 16 channels, but the parties involved – broadcasters, mobile operators and transmitter companies – were not able to find a suitable business model. The CSA will now use part of the frequency spectrum for the six new HD channels, while the remainder will be used for a new project, B2M (Broadcast Mobile Multimedia).

(Digital TV News) ITU Defines UHDTV Formats

The ITU-R Working Party 6C has officially defined the parameter values for the next two generations of television formats. Under their current name the two formats are the 4K and 8K UHDTV formats – Ultra High Definition Television. The same group defined the parameter values for HDTV and the 720p families in the late 1990s. The new formats take advantage of future displays’ greater colour range, have the option of ‘constant luminance’ encoding, and allow up to 120 pictures/second. Discussions to broadcast these systems currently centre on the largely unused 22GHz satellite broadcast band, but terrestrial broadcasting may eventually be possible. Tests of the UHDTV format will take place at the London Olympics.

(Digital TV News) Asia Pacific to Add 440 Million Digital TV Homes

According to a new report, Asia Pacific is undergoing a digital TV boom that will see penetration increase from 36% in 2011 to 83% by 2017 – or up by 440 million homes. It forecasts that China alone will provide 268 million of the additional digital TV homes, with India adding 82 million.

Of the 440 million digital homes, 103 million will come from DTT. Digital cable will contribute a further 195 million, with pay DTH supplying a 34 million more and pay IPTV 86 million. By contrast, the region will lose 152 million analogue cable homes and 196 million analogue terrestrial ones.

China and India have a massive influence over the region, due principally to their 1 billion-plus populations. By 2017, they will provide 541 million digital TV homes combined – or three-quarters of Asia Pacific’s total.

(IPTV News) London Begins Analogue Switch-off

Some 75 years after the first regular TV service began, London is switching off its analogue channels – beginning with BBC Two. On April 14 this year, Analogue BBC Two was taken off the air in London and some other cities.

The remaining analogue channels – BBC One, ITV1, Channel Four and Channel Five – were subsequently turned off on April 18. The rolling switchover programme to turn the UK over to digital TV began in 2007 and has so far been carried out with few hitches. A third of UK homes have already switched to digital, but the London region was the biggest to do so. Across the UK, a full digital switchover is expected to be completed this year. The digital switchover also comes as London prepares to host the 2012 Olympic Games in two months’ time.

(Asia-Pacific Broadcasting) Italy to Introduce DVB-T2 by 2015

From 2015 onwards, all DTT tuners sold in Italy must include the DVB-T2 standard, both for stand-alone set-tops and for IDTVs. The government has decided to opt for DVB-T2 due to the launch of new mobile services, including LTE and 4G, in part of the spectrum that is now being used by broadcasters.

The number of available multiplexes for digital broadcasting is being reduced from 55 to 34 and in order to accommodate all the terrestrial broadcasters, there is an urgent need for more efficient use of the available bandwidth.

For consumers, there will be a need to buy new tuners, although a number of DVB-T channels will remain on air for some time. (Broadband TV News)

White Spaces Can Bring Broadband to 2 Million

The use of the “White Spaces” within the broadcast spectrum could bring broadband services to 2 million premises currently left unserved. The precocious Cambridge TV White Spaces Consortium trial also involved the BBC, Arqiva, DTG and Microsoft. 10 months of testing took place in urban and rural Cambridge.

As part of the Consortium trials, broadband service of 8Mbps over a single 8MHz TV channel was delivered, via a white

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