DVB-T2 is an abbreviation for "Digital Video Broadcasting — Second Generation Terrestrial"; it is the extension of the television standard DVB-T, issued by the consortium DVB, devised for the broadcast transmission of digital terrestrial television. DVB has been standardized by ETSI.
This system transmits compressed digital audio, video, and other data in "physical layer pipes" (PLPs), using OFDM modulation with concatenated channel coding and interleaving. The higher offered bit rate, with respect to its predecessor DVB-T, makes it a system suited for carrying HDTV signals on the terrestrial TV channel (though many broadcasters still use plain DVB-T for this purpose).
As of 2014, it was implemented in broadcasts in the United Kingdom (Freeview HD, eight channels across two multiplexes, plus an extra multiplex in Northern Ireland carrying three SD channels), Italy (Europa 7 HD, twelve channels), Finland (21 channels, five in HD), Germany (six HD (1080p50) channels, with 40 in planning), Sweden (five channels), Thailand (41 SD, 9 HD channels) Flanders (18 SD Channels), Serbia (eight channels), Ukraine (32 SD and HD channels in four nationwide multiplexes), Croatia (two pay-TV multiplexes), Denmark (two pay-TV multiplexes with 20 channels), Romania (8 SD channels, 1 HD channel) and some other countries.
In March 2006 DVB decided to study options for an upgraded DVB-T standard. In June 2006, a formal study group named TM-T2 (Technical Module on Next Generation DVB-T) was established by the DVB Group to develop an advanced modulation scheme that could be adopted by a second generation digital terrestrial television standard, to be named DVB-T2.
According to the commercial requirements and call for technologies issued in April 2007, the first phase of DVB-T2 would be devoted to provide optimum reception for stationary (fixed) and portable receivers (i.e., units which can be nomadic, but not fully mobile) using existing aerials, whereas a second and third phase would study methods to deliver higher payloads (with new aerials) and the mobile reception issue. The novel system should provide a minimum 30% increase in payload, under similar channel conditions already used for DVB-T.
The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 agreed with the regulator Ofcom to convert one UK multiplex (B, or PSB3) to DVB-T2 to increase capacity for HDTV via DTT. They expected the first TV region to use the new standard would be Granada in November 2009 (with existing switched over regions being changed at the same time). It was expected that over time there would be enough DVB-T2 receivers sold to switch all DTT transmissions to DVB-T2, and H.264.
Ofcom published its final decision on 3 April 2008, for HDTV using DVB-T2 and H.264: BBC HD would have one HD slot after digital switchover (DSO) at Granada. ITV and C4 had, as expected, applied to Ofcom for the 2 additional HD slots available from 2009 to 2012.
Ofcom indicated that it found an unused channel covering 3.7 million households in London, which could be used to broadcast the DVB-T2 HD multiplex from 2010, i.e., before DSO in London. Ofcom indicated that they would look for more unused UHF channels in other parts of the UK, that can be used for the DVB-T2 HD multiplex from 2010 until DSO.
The DVB-T2 draft standard was ratified by the DVB Steering Board on 26 June 2008, and published on the DVB homepage as DVB-T2 standard BlueBook. It was handed over to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) by DVB.ORG on 20 June 2008. The ETSI process resulted in the DVB-T2 standard being adopted on 9 September 2009. The ETSI process had several phases, but the only changes were text clarifications. Since the DVB-T2 physical layer specification was complete, and there would be no further technical enhancements, receiver VLSI chip design started with confidence in stability of specification. A draft PSI/SI (program and system information) specification document was also agreed with the DVB-TM-GBS group.
Prototype receivers were shown in September IBC 2008 and more recent version at the IBC 2009 in Amsterdam. A number of other manufacturers demonstrated DVB-T2 at IBC 2009 including Albis Technologies, Arqiva, DekTec, Enensys Technologies, Harris, Pace, Rohde & Schwarz, Tandberg, Thomson Broadcast and TeamCast. As of 2012, Appear TV also produce DVB-T2 receivers, DVB-T2 modulators and DVB-T2 gateways. Other manufacturers planning DVB-T2 equipment launches include Alitronika, CellMetric, Cisco, Digital TV Labs, Humax, NXP Semiconductors, Panasonic, ProTelevision Technologies, Screen Service, SIDSA, Sony, ST Microelectronics and T-VIPS. The first test from a real TV transmitter was performed by the BBC Research & Innovation in the last weeks of June 2008 using channel 53 from the Guildford transmitter, southwest of London: BBC had developed and built the modulator/demodulator prototype in parallel with the DVB-T2 standard being drafted. Other companies like ENKOM or IfN develop software (processor) based decoding.
NORDIG published a DVB-T2 receiver specification and performance requirement on 1 July 2009. In March 2009 the Digital TV Group (DTG), the industry association for digital TV in the UK, published the technical specification for high definition services on digital terrestrial television (Freeview) using the new DVB-T2 standard. The DTG's test house: DTG Testing are testing Freeview HD products against this specification.
Many tests broadcast transmission using this standard are being in process in France, with local Gap filler near Rennes CCETT.
DVB-T2 was tested in October 2010, in Geneva region, with Mont Salève's repeater, in UHF band on Channel 36. A mobile van was testing BER, strength, and quality reception, with special PCs used as spectrum analysers, constellation testers. The van was moving in Canton Geneva (Switzerland), and France (Annemasse, Pays de Gex). However, none were demonstrated in TELECOM 2011 at Palexpo.
The following characteristics have been devised for the T2 standard:
The following table reports a comparison of available modes in DVB-T and DVB-T2.
|Input Interface||Single Transport Stream (TS)||Multiple Transport Stream and Generic Stream Encapsulation (GSE)|
|Modes||Constant Coding & Modulation||Variable Coding & Modulation|
|Forward Error Correction (FEC)||Convolutional Coding + Reed Solomon
1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8
|LDPC + BCH|
1/2, 3/5, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, 8/9
|Modulation Schemes||QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM||QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, 256QAM|
|Guard Interval||1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32||1/4, 19/128, 1/8, 19/256, 1/16, 1/32, 1/128|
|Discrete Fourier transform (DFT) size||2k, 8k||1k, 2k, 4k, 8k, 16k, 32k|
|Scattered Pilots||8% of total||1%, 2%, 4%, 8% of total|
|Continual Pilots||2.6% of total||0.35% of total|
For instance, a UK MFN DVB-T profile (64-QAM, 8k mode, coding rate 2/3, guard interval 1/32) and a DVB-T2 equivalent (256-QAM, 32k, coding rate 3/5, guard interval 1/128) allows for an increase in bit rate from 24.13 Mbit/s to 35.4 Mbit/s (+46.5%). Another example, for an Italian SFN DVB-T profile (64-QAM, 8k, coding rate 2/3, guard interval 1/4) and a DVB-T2 equivalent (256-QAM, 32k, coding rate 3/5, guard interval 1/16), achieves an increase in bit rate from 19.91 Mbit/s to 33.3 Mbit/s (+67%).
Recommended maximum bit-rate configurations for 8 MHz bandwidth, 32K FFT, guard interval 1/128, pilot pattern 7:
|Modulation||Code rate||Bitrate Mbit/s||Frame length LF||FEC blocks per frame|
The processing workflow is as follows:
When the digital terrestrial HDTV service Freeview HD was launched in December 2009, it was the first DVB-T2 service intended for the general public. As of November 2010, DVB-T2 broadcasts where available in a couple of European countries.
The earliest introductions of T2 have usually been tied with a launch of high-definition television. There are however some countries where HDTV is broadcast using the old DVB-T standard with no immediate plans to switch those broadcasts to DVB-T2. Among countries using DVB-T for nationwide broadcasts of HDTV are France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Spain, and Taiwan. These are usually using MPEG4. Australia started broadcasting HD content over DVB-T with MPEG2, although in 2015 some Australian broadcasters switched to MPEG4.
Countries where DVB-T2 is in use include:
In Serbia, both SD and HD broadcasts will air in DVB-T2.
Currently Malaysia, which has yet to officially launch its DVB-T transmission, is running tests on DVB-T2. The government has announced that it plans to roll out DVB-T2 in stages starting in Mid-2015, with analog shutoff planned for sometime in 2017.
Broadcasters in the United States are starting experimental trials of DVB-T2 in the Baltimore, MD area on WNUV-TV in the early morning hours as of 15 February 2013. The tests are to determine viability as a broadcast standard for mobile devices and UltraHD.
In April 2015, "OQAAB" started DVB-T2 broadcasting in Kabul. Current challenges are the security situation and the economic development of the country. The company who was issued the license is still waiting for the digital regulation which is not issued yet by the government. So the switch off date of the analogue network is not announced. The infrastructure in six more provinces (Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar, Ghazni, Kunduz) is built but the transmitters are not installed yet.
In July 2011, "DIGITALB" started DVB-T2 broadcasting in Tirana, Durrës at 29 UHF 29 channels (26 HD, 3 in SD).
In April 2013, Telenet started with DVB-T2 broadcasting in Flanders. However it was discontinued one year later on the 31st of March 2014. As of the end of 2017, TV Vlaanderen started offering DVB-T2 television using Norkring's network. The following centre frequencies are used in Flanders: 650 MHz, 658 MHz, 674 MHz and 682MHz.
In 2012, Colombia adopted DVB-T2 as the national standard for terrestrial television, replacing DVB-T, the previously selected standard for digital TV, which was selected after technical evaluation of several digital TV standards. The two standards coexisted until 2015. The digital TV has been deployed gradually across the country, starting at the four main cities, Bogotá, Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla followed by smaller cities such as Armenia, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Cúcuta, Manizales, Pereira and Santa Marta. By 2014 main cities had digital TV, however the signal is not available in the entire country.
On 13 October 2011, the Croatian Post and Electronic Communications Agency granted license for MUX C and MUX E, both in DVB-T2 standard.
Two DVB-T2 multiplexes launched in late 2012 by pay TV platform EVO TV.
Finland, the first country in Europe to cease analog terrestrial TV and move to DVB-T, has announced that DVB-T2 will be used exclusively from end March 2020. Many FTA channels are dual broadcast in SD via DVB-T and in HD using DVB-T2. All pay-TV channels moved to DVB-T2 in 2017. The DVB-T2 switchover will allow more channels to move to HD as well as releasing bandwidth for new SD channels over DVB-T2.
Digital Terrestrial Television services to provide mobile TV at 16 cities e.g. Pitampura(Delhi)(578.00 MHz), Mumbai (474.00 MHz and 522.00 MHz), Kolkata, Chennai, Guwahati, Patna, Ranchi, Cuttack, Lucknow, Jallandhar, Raipur, Indore, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Bangalore and Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, were started on 25 February 2016. Mobile TV can be received using DVB-T2 Dongles in OTG enabled smart phones and tablets, Wi-Fi dongles, besides in integrated digital TV (iDTV). Public and private transportation vehicles and public places are potential environments for mobile television. Currently DD National, DD National HD, DD News, DD Bharati, DD Sports, and DD Regional/DD Kisan are being relayed.
The project to adopt DVB-T technology in Indonesia was started about 2007 with 'full' government support as the project initiator. All television broadcasters were offered to transform their analog broadcasts into the new digital form, some were interested to follow suit and started testing their new digital broadcasts and some are still uninterested back then.
During the DVB-T testing period, Indonesian government (via its Ministry of Information & Communication Technology [ICT]) wanted to switch to DVB-T2 technology which provides better signal efficiency, capacity and corrections compared to DVB-T. The TV broadcasters still testing their DVB-T broadcasts agreed to join the DVB-T2 conversion program offered by the government since they saw the significant benefits by switching to DVB-T2 (such as higher data rate for HD content and better carrier-to-noise ratio management), even though it would introduce additional cost for those who have bought DVB-T equipment. The official switch to DVB-T2 from DVB-T was started February 2012, based on ICT Minister decree (about 5 years from DVB-T introduction and adopting/nurturing period in Indonesia).
The Indonesian Ministry of Information & Communication Technology expects the final DVB-T2 digital television regulation to be finished in 2020 and the analog switch off transition will begin in the same year.
Started testing DVB-T in 2006, but outlined plans to switch to DVB-T2 in 2011, after which tests of both were run concurrently. The DVB-T test concluded in 2016 and at the same time license to roll out DVB-T2 transmitters was contracted to Puncak Semangat Sdn. Bhd. Roll-out began in late 2016 in the Borneo states of Malaysia and has mostly concluded by mid-2017. Plans to shut off analog by mid-2018.
KPN is switching its digital terrestrial television platform to the DVB-T2 HEVC standard from 1 October 2018 till the end of April 2019, making HD possibile in the future.
on 5 January 2015 StarCom company switched to DVB-T2 technology which provided a better signal, reaching most regions of Palestine instead of limited signal covering (was function only in Gaza Strip while in testing period using DVB-T1).
Star TV Transponder offers a range of entertainment and sports channels system dvb-t2. The package consists of 10 channels on the UHF ch35.
Although Romania started DVB-T Broadcasting in 2005 with the MPEG-2 standard for SD broadcast and MPEG 4 for HD, it was only experimental. In June 2011 Romania shifted to MPEG4 both for SD and HD. In 2012, the Romanian authorities decided that DVB-T2 will be the standard used for terrestrial broadcasts, as it allows a larger number of programs to be broadcast on the same multiplex. Romania's switchover plans were initially delayed due to economical and feasibility-related reasons. One of the reasons was that most Romanian consumers already extensively used either cable or satellite services, which developed very quickly and became very popular after 1990. In fact, a technological boom started around 2003, driven by a solid economical development in the field of telecommunications, made several private operators create large networks of fiber optics and cable covering all of Romania, which are now used for providing both TV, telephony, and high quality broadband internet. As the prices for complete packages (TV, internet, telephony) are low and the quality quite good (e.g. about 20 EUR for 500Mbit/s internet, ~120 SD and HD digital cable TV channels and telephony, with an added 2-4 EUR for mobile telephony), the interest for over-the-air TV quickly became very low. There are rumors that commercial broadcasters that traditionally transmitted over-the-air using analogue channels (like MediaPro, Antena GROUP, Prima TV) will give up terrestrial broadcasting and will be available only on pay-TV services, like cable, satellite and IPTV. It is also rumored that the DVB-T standard (with MPEG-4 encoding) will continue until 2018.
On 17 June 2015 analogue terrestrial television was switched off, with the exception of the main public TV program (TVR1) which will continue to be broadcast strictly in the VHF band until the end of 2016.
Free-to-air DVB-T2 broadcasts on MUX1 (provided by the state-owned Radiocom) are available since June 2015 in Timisoara (UHF channel 21), Cluj-Napoca (UHF channel 26), Iasi (UHF channel 25), and Bucharest (UHF channel 30). The coverage will be extendend so that at the end of 2016, over 90% of the territory will be covered. For now (2015/06/30), only five channels are broadcast on MUX1: TVR1, TVR2, TVR News, TVR 3, and TVR HD, with plans to be extended to 14-16 SD and HD programs. Radiocom's MUX2 and MUX4 implementations will also start in 2016. Legacy DVB-T broadcasts are still available in Bucharest: 6 channels can be received on channels 54 and 59, but will be shut down eventually, being replaced by DVB-T2. TVR announced that TVR News and TVR 3 will be closed, and the fate of TVR HD, is uncertain. This will lower the number of channels available on DVB-T. On 2 July 2015, Kanal D Romania left the terrestrial platform. The only broadcast that remained on terrestrial except TVR is Antena 3, but it is unknown whether it will stay on DVB-T, will shift to DVB-T2 or completely leave terrestrial platform. This will lead to only 3 channels in DVB-T2, and with many TV sets that are only DVB-T compatible ( most of sold models being equipped with digital cable tuner) to an unattractive terrestrial platform, and more and more people will subscribe to a cable provider, or a DTH operator in areas where there is no cable TV available.
The DVB-T transmitters were shut down since September 1, 2016, so only the DVB-T2 network remains on air. As of October 1, 2016, 85% of the population and 78% of the Romanian territory (as stated by the broadcaster) are covered by DVB-T2 signal. The 9 TV channels that are broadcast at the moment are produced by the national television: TVR HD + 8 SD channels TVR1, TVR2, TVR3, TVR Cluj, TVR Craiova, TVR Iasi, TVR Timisoara, TVR Tg Mures.
In September 2011, Russian governmental authorities have approved the decision that since this date all newly built terrestrial digital TV networks will use the DVB-T2 standard. In some regions of Russia DVB-T/MPEG-4 networks (mostly consisting of one multiplex) have already been deployed before this decision was made.
In January 2015, transition to DVB-T2 finished. DVB-T2 used on the whole territory of Russia.
In May 2009, the Serbian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society officially announced that the DVB-T2 standard will be the national digital terrestrial broadcasting standard for both SD and HD. Serbia has become one of the first countries to commit to the DVB-T2 standard. First public test with DVB-T2 signal in Serbia was during Telfor 2009 conference in Belgrade. Analog switch off has been planned for 4 April 2012. But it was postponed to 2013. Now the final switch off is planned to finish on 1 May 2015. On 21 March 2012 JP ETV started trial DVB-T2 transmission across Serbia offering viewers a total of 10 SD channels and a HD version of the public broadcaster’s channel RTS. On 14 November 2013 JP ETV has updated initial network for digital terrestrial television, and now DVB-T2 signal is available to over 90 percent of the population of Serbia.
In June 2015, transition to DVB-T2 finished.
In December 2013, MediaCorp started the first phase of switchover to digital broadcasting. Existing analogue TV signals will continue to be broadcast simultaneously with digital TV signals until end-2017 to facilitate consumers migration to digital TV equipment. MediaCorp estimates that the switchover of all seven free-to-air channels to digital broadcasting will be completed by the end of 2016. On November 6, 2017, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced that the end of analogue broadcasting would be delayed by 1 year, with analogue transmissions now ceasing on 31 December 2018, in order to give households more time to switch over to digital TV.
On 14 January 2011, the South African Department of Communication officially announced that the DVB-T2 standard will be the national digital terrestrial broadcasting standard. Analog switch off has been planned for December 2013.
With the completion of construction of Colombo's Lotus Tower which will be 350m tall broadcast and leisure tower, DVB T2 will be implemented in Sri Lanka's Colombo and other areas. Completion is set for 3Q 2015.DVB T2 is already implemented from Kakavil Tx station by SLRC.
On 17 June 2010, the Swedish Radio and TV Authority and the Swedish Government granted a total of nine licenses to broadcast channels in HDTV spread over two multiplexes using DVB-T2.
Broadcasts started on 1 November 2010, with five channels available initially: SVT1 HD, SVT2 HD, MTVN HD, National Geographic HD and Canal+ Sport HD. From this date a coverage of 70% of the population is achieved, with 90% expected by mid-2011 and nationwide coverage by 2012.
On 25 January 2013, The Royal Thai Army’s Radio and Television station, Channel 5, has launch a trial DVB-T2 service. The service have 6 SD Channels plus 2 HD channel. It has successfully completed Thailand’s first DVB-T2 digital terrestrial TV trial with the help of Harris and one of its Maxiva UAX air-cooled UHF transmitters.
On 4 March 2013, Free Television Channel 3, 5, 5HD, 7, 9, NBT, ThaiPBS, ThaiPBS HD get temporary permission to broadcast digital TV in DVB-T2 system until issue actual license that expect to be released in the middle to end of 2013.
Ukraine's national terrestrial TV network (built and maintained by the Zeonbud company) uses the DVB-T2 standard for all four nationwide FTV (cardless CAS "Irdeto Cloaked CA") multiplexes, for both SD and HD broadcasts. Before settling for DVB-T2, Ukraine was testing both DVB-T/MPEG-2 and DVB-T/MPEG-4 options, and some experimental transmitters operating in those standards are still live. Ukraine has never had a full-fledged nationwide DVB-T network, thus not having to do a DVB-T-to-DVB-T2 migration.
Zeonbud's network consists of 167 transmitter sites, each carrying four DVB-T2 multiplexes, with transmitter power ranging from 2 kW to 50 W (all in MFN mode). As of 2011 October 10, 150 of the 167 transmitter sites have officially gone live. The biggest problem of Ukraine's DVB-T2 rollout for now is the acute shortage of inexpensive DVB-T2 set-top-boxes.
The four multiplexes carry in total 28 nationwide channels (same for all transmitter sites, distributed via satellite) and 4 local channels. Up to 8 of those 28 nationwide channels can broadcast in HD format.
As of July 2017, there are 32 channels available on the air, up from 4 channels in October 2012.
On the terrestrial television system across most of the UK, there is only one multiplex (the slot corresponding to one channel in analog broadcasting and to many channels digital broadcasting) assigned to digital broadcasting in the DVB-T2 standard. This multiplex is controlled by the service company Freeview HD, which offered to host up to five DVB-T2 HD channels on it.
Freeview HD started its "technical launch" on 2 December 2009, hosting BBC HD, and ITV HD. On 30 March 2010, Freeview HD had its official launch, and added Channel 4 HD to its broadcasts. The fourth channel hosted was BBC One HD, while the fifth slot was used for a high-definition simulcast of CBBC during the daytime and a high-definition simulcast of BBC Three during the evening. The fifth HD stream on the DVB-T2 multiplex was going to be used by Channel 5 for their HD service, but they withdrew their application to Ofcom for the slot in December 2011.
In June 2012, the BBC launched a temporary stream in order to broadcast a high-definition red button service for the 2012 Olympics on Freeview, alongside BBC One HD and BBC HD. At the time, it was still undecided as to the permanent use of the 5th stream after the Olympics.
In Northern Ireland however, a second DVB-T2 multiplex was launched on 24 October 2012. This multiplex carries RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and TG4. All three channels on this multiplex are carried in SD rather than HD.
On 16 March 2013, the BBC announced that it would launch BBC News HD, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and CBBC HD on all digital television platforms which carry HD channels. On Freeview HD (and YouView), BBC Three HD and CBBC HD would use capacity on the BBC’s existing HD multiplex covering 98.5% of UK homes; BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will use new HD capacity which will cover part of the UK and grow in coverage over time. These high-definition simulcasts are available on the second multiplex, but the second multiplex is only broadcast from selected transmitters, providing around 70% coverage across the whole of the UK.
On 26 March 2013, BBC HD was replaced by BBC Two HD.
As of 11 November 2011, two DVB-T2 SFN networks of the Audio Visual Global JSC have been officially launched in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. Later, the same service was offered in the Mekong Delta with transmitter in Can Tho and other cities. Each network with three multiplexes carry totally 40 SD, 05 HD and 05 audio channels (MPEG-4/H264).
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Tunisia have all adopted DVB-T2. Kuwait has also committed to install the second generation standard. Iraq has already implemented its DVB-T2-based system in parts of the country, while Bahrain, Oman and Yemen are assessing the technology.