back to article EU chooses mobile TV standard

The European Commission has drafted a document recommending the adoption of Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld (DVB-H) as a pan-European, mobile-broadcasting standard to avoid "market fragmentation". The document is intended for publication mid-July, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal, and follows on from …


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  1. Tim Schomer


    need I say more....

  2. JJ

    Is there actually demand though?

    Given you've been able to buy portable, handheld LCD TVs for years, and yet they never became commonplace in the wild, is there really that much demand from people to waste their mobile battery watching stuff on a tiny screen?

    Also, consider that the majority of the time you'd actually use this kind of thing (during the day), there's usually nothing on worth watching. By the time any good stuff is on, you're usually at home (or in the pub) watching on a proper sized screen.

    So whatever format wins, is anyone actually going to care?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    satellite standard

    Now , what did the EU dictate for satellite standards back in the late 80's ?

    was it PAL as broadcast by murdoc ( sky ) or was it some monster as broadcast by BSB ?

    Why will DVB-H win ? only if the market wants it to, independent of what the EU wants.

  4. Joe K

    More like 3.5" vs 7" floppy

    Both pointless nowadays. Yeah, i really want to pay so i can keep up with GMTV on the way to work, and whatever nonsense is showing at 5-6pm on the big 4 channels.

    Oh wait, i'll just watch an film or something i encoded myself on my PSP or phone for free. At least that won't cut out every 10 seconds as i go through a tunnel.

  5. A J Stiles

    Perhaps as a gesture

    Perhaps, as a gesture of goodwill and to show that they favour a level playing field where competition is on merit alone, the Governments of the EU might now collectively decide to annul any and all patents relating to the implementation of their preferred solution; in order that any manufacturer might now enter the market without fear that established players might close ranks to keep them out?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More like...

    PAL vs NTSC.

    Why they're bothering is more interesting. It's going to take a huge leap in display technology to make mobile TV appealing. TV at home is bad enough.

  7. De Zeurkous


    A ``standard'' named after one very specific form of application is sure to mess up on the real work.

    Besides, some kind of wireless carrier for ATM or even IP (yuck) is far more suitable in both the short, middle, and long terms -- static TV as some of us still know it will be dead in 16 years.

  8. MacroRodent

    Re: Is there actually demand though?

    > Given you've been able to buy portable, handheld LCD TVs for years, and yet

    > they never became commonplace in the wild, is there really that much demand

    > from people to waste their mobile battery watching stuff on a tiny screen?

    Maybe, if the mobile reception really works even when the user moves!

    The trouble with exiting tiny TV:s is that they work only if you

    align the antenna just so. I for one would love to watch a morning news

    broadcast while commuting to work on local train- it would be just about the

    only time of day I would have time for it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The EU has a good track record on standards!

    To be fair to the EU, it has had an excellent track record on standards and harmonisation.

    GSM and 3GSM (UMTS) are perhaps the best examples. GSM and 3GSM have 2.466 billion users worldwide. Quite an achievement for a project originally intended simply to harmonise and digitalise Europe's incompatible mobile networks in the 1980s :)

    We've also standardised on DVB-T, DVB-C, DVB-S in Europe too, so DVB-H is the pretty obvious choice.

    European telecommunications standards and harmonised electrical standards are pretty much used globally everywhere outside the US and Canada (and parts of South America and Japan).

    Also, it's good to see the EU championing European technologies, particularly when they're world-leading technologies!!

    I don't think the EU had any particular standard for satellite in the 1980s, the British Government did however mandate that the failed satellite broadcaster, BSB used some weird standard (DMAC) while Sky just used the plain old European defacto analogue standard PAL.

    I still can't see all that many people actually watching mobile tv though. It's gives you terrible eye strain on those tiny screens!!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It also creates a big stable market

    When you've a standard for the over-the-air interface for mobile television, it means that manufacturers can actually start getting on with the job of producing equipment to work with the standard.

    In the US, there was no particular standard for digital mobile telephone service, the FCC simply offered carriers the 1900Mhz spectrum and basically said use whatever technology you like. The end result has been three completely incompatible standards: CDMA, GSM and iDEN sharing the same spectrum. End users can't switch provider without ditching their handset if they change technology, national roaming is vastly more complicated. Frequency/Spectrum management has also been very much more complicated resulting in poor signal quality / lack of bandwidth this results in GSM calls dropping and CDMA calls sounding like bad quality real player when things go wrong.

    They've a similar mess with 3G which is why you've got the wonderful 2G iPhone ... (rolls eyes)

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