Feeds

EU officially endorses DVB-H

But who asked for their opinion?

Top three mobile application threats

The European Commission (EC) has formally endorsed DVB-H as the preferred standard for digital TV signals to be broadcast to mobile phones, though the business model for broadcast TV is still open to debate.

The Commission makes much of its decision to mandate GSM as a mobile phone technology back in the 1980s, and the resulting success of mobile telephony, drawing parallels with the broadcast TV business in cost-reduction of equipment and potential for roaming between countries.

The problem with this argument is that the DVB-H specification covers only part of the interface - aspects such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) are likely to remain deployment-specific so switching between services, or countries, is unlikely to be possible. Language barriers will prevent much international roaming anyway.

The other problem is frequencies. The EU would like to see a chunk of the UHF band (470-862MHz) allocated to DVB-H once it's freed up by the analogue TV switch-off. But UK regulator Ofcom is moving away from allocating frequencies to technologies, preferring to just license the band and allow the buyer to decide what to use it for.

So even if DVB-H is used across Europe, you won't be able to receive a picture from different operators with one device - and even if you can you're unlikely to be able to decode it.

The business model for broadcast mobile TV is also contentious. Even where trials have been successful up to 40 per cent of viewing is happening in the home, where femtocells have the potential to provide unicast services in a cheaper and more personalised fashion.

DVB-H isn't being mandated by the commission, just officially encouraged. More consultation, and a possible mandate, will come next year as the commission considers 2008 a key year in the development of mobile TV.

Such a mandate could reduce hardware costs and create a more competitive market, or it could strangle an industry on the edge of being stillborn anyway. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.