back to article EU officially endorses DVB-H

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 …


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  1. Nick Piggott

    So much for consultation

    The EU enabled consultation between interested parties (the European Mobile Broadcasting Council) during last year, which brought together the mobile telcos and broadcasters from all over the EU for rounds of discussion and debate. The conclusion was that the EU should specifically not interfere with the mobile TV market, nor stipulate a particular technology platform. It seems strange that the Commission should ignore the good advice of so many well informed people. In any event I expect that any sensible mobile TV operator (incumbent or new entrant) will choose the technology that's right for their business, and not the (partisan?) choice of Ms. Redding.

  2. The Cube


    God forbid that they should actually ask what the customers and users want! Of course if the vested interests of the mobile carriers and broadcasters think they can make the most money with a fragmented platform and no standards then that is exactly what we should do.

  3. Robert E A Harvey

    No surprise, really

    "The EU enabled consultation between interested parties .... The conclusion was that the EU should specifically not interfere with the mobile TV market,"

    And if you were to ask Burglars whether there should be breaking and entering laws?

  4. Lou Gosselin

    Would it be possible to standardize the network layer for all frequencies?

    I don't claim to be proficient at radio technologies. However to me it seems beneficial to standardize on low-level networking and addressing.

    Much as IP is a standard for computer networks.

    All digital broadcast content would be written in an application layer on top of this layer. Like bluetooth but directed at broadcasters.

    A device (such as a tv tuner) would monitor the radio spectrum, identify packets belonging to it, and start working. Of course authentication is required so one can't hijack another's broadcast, but should not be a problem.

    This way radio frequencies would not need to technically be permanently assigned to specific protocols or vendors. And kit would not need to be hard coded with frequencies to work in different countries.

    This ability for dynamic frequency allocation could allow more efficient usage of the radio spectrum. Perhaps even to the point where a frequency is being used by radio stations during the day, but television at night.

    Maybe this already exists?

  5. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Cable Cabals and the such like ....

    "In any event I expect that any sensible mobile TV operator (incumbent or new entrant) will choose the technology that's right for their business, and not the (partisan?) choice of Ms. Redding."

    Which I imagine would be one which will work across any platform .... anywhere. One will only then need one device, which I suppose doesn't allow for Tom, Dick and Harry to make devices delivering programs dedicated to feeding themselves.

    They seem to have forgotten that the customer is a global player nowadays and nobody's fool, Ms Redding.

  6. Tim

    What happened to 3G TV?

    So if DVB-H is a UHF broadcast system, what was the point in spending(sorry wasting) all that money on 3G? I thought the big thing for 3G was streaming TV, at least that's what the operators tried to claim.

  7. Dillon Pyron

    I still don't understand

    It seems that mobile TV is a solution looking for a problem. I just (just, this morning, still sitting in the box in the living room just) bought a 42" LCD (1080p). WTF would I want to watch TV on a, at best, 2" display? Maybe, just maybe, the news. But even sports would be crazy. The puck wouldn't even be visible, the football (your choice) would be less than the size of a pin head.

    And how much are you going to pay for this content? Is it going to be a per minute thing? Or per k byte? Or per show? I know people who have been surprised to find out how much it costs to send a one minute video.

    At least I can get AT&T or Verizon across the whole US. Heck, I think Houston is almost as big as the BeNeLux.

  8. joe


    Other than trying to protect a nonexistent revenue stream for the telcos, what's to stop a handset being able to show dvb-t broadcasts? Would the power consumption be too high?

    Seems such a model could work for a handset manufacturer here in Europe, where people are more likely to pick up their phone separate from their plan...

  9. Morely Dotes

    Mobile Broadcast Video: As Useful As Tits on The Pope

    And that's assuming there were uniform standards across the whole planet.

    I own a media player with a 4-inch display (that's 10cm for you people who actually have real standards). It's OK for watching video on an airline flight, since my knees are already up my nose anyhow, and the screen has to be close enough to my face that I can lick it. Anything smaller would be much like attempting to view a rugger from a distance of 2 km, without a telescope or field glasses. Why bother? The radio coverage would give me a better idea what's happening.

  10. Andy Bright

    Seems someone missed an important step in the proccess

    Which one? Buying the requisite number of EU politicians prior to them making important decisions (sometimes mislabeled as lobbying).

    In the US, which has a tried and trusted PPB (pay per bill) political system, the way it works is over a period of years the relevant major players in a particular industry argue amongst themselves until the technology in question is on the verge of obsolescence. Having finally decided on a standard, they then hire a "lobbying" firm to buy up the politicos that create bills and push them to Congress. It then falls down to these corporates new employees to convince other congressmen that this is a really good idea, and if we don't do it the terrorists will win.

    Thus a new, industry favourable, bill is passed - and democracy wins again. None of that wishy washy recommending stuff. Delays like that could open up the process to sneaky reporters and other troublemakers.

    It truly seems odd that the same corporates that operate in the US still don't realise they're supposed to purchase their EU politicians prior to important decisions being made for their industries.

    So you see, it is possible for a bi-partisan political system to exist, you just need enough money to buy one.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happened to 3G TV?

    £22.5 billion in license fees doesn't seem so smart now does it.... 3G rollout has massively slowed down, not because they've achieved coverage, but because it just isn't making the cash.

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