Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EU Funding Helps Pioneer the Biggest TV Boom In History

09.11.2004


The launch of the biggest TV boom in history, the digital terrestrial services that form the platform for the phenomenally successful Freeview, was made possible thanks to a grant of 6.45 million euros from the EU’s Framework Programme.



The VALIDATE (Verification and Launch of Integrated Digital Advanced Television in Europe) project, technically underpinned by a BBC-led partnership, gave the UK the technical confidence to launch digital terrestrial TV in 1998. This technical expertise allowed the BBC to solve subsequent technical problems – providing robust signal quality for the 2002 launch of Freeview, offering 30 TV and 20 radio stations without subscription, to 75% of British households. With more than four million boxes being sold in the first 18 months, Freeview became the world’s fastest-selling consumer technology.

The BBC had wanted to offer licence payers the benefits of digital TV for some time. They made the first digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast based on a newly agreed DTT standard in April 1996 – 70 years after television was invented. But they needed evidence to prove that the technical standards were adequate, so BBC Research & Development (R&D) agreed to take the lead in VALIDATE.


The challenge for the VALIDATE team - made up of 19 organisations from nine countries - was to test the standard that allowed quality digital images to be broadcast over terrestrial networks. Digital terrestrial signals are vulnerable to reflection from buildings, confusion with traditional TV signals and weather conditions that can carry signals far beyond their intended range. The result can be an unreliable service.

As VALIDATE progressed, the BBC and its partners built a series of experimental DTT transmitters and receivers and began testing them. The tests, conducted over 26 months, analysed the response of different receivers to weak signals or interference. “We had to make sure we all got the same results,” says project head Andrew Oliphant from BBC Research & Development. “We also had to check the same equipment manufactured by different people would work the same way. “Because we were working in an effective collaborative way, we were able to identify problems and make the necessary adjustments. As soon as we saw a BBC transmitter working with a French receiver, we had the brave new world of digital terrestrial broadcasting within our grasp. It had all been worth it.”

Their work on DTT enabled BBC R&D to develop a DTT receiver chip with LSI Logic - capturing 80% of the decoder market in the first year. This chip won a Queens Award for Enterprise in 2001. “It was fitting that the BBC, as the UK pioneer of broadcasting, took the lead in working alongside European counterparts to set the standards that are opening the doors to 21st century broadcasting”, says Peter Walters, FP6UK National Contact Point for IST. “The Framework funding for this project was significant, meeting around a third of the overall cost of the project.” “It also shows how any British company that is serious about research, and understands the time it takes to move from discovery to commercial exploitation, can benefit from being part of a European collaboration.”

The current Framework Programme (FP6) runs until 2006 and organisations wanting free information on how to access some of the €19bn available should log on to http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk or call central telephone support on 0870 600 6080.

The Framework Programme is not a route to easy research and development funding. “Don’t do it for the money,” says Andrew Oliphant. “The best reason for getting involved is because there is something you want to explore but don’t have the resources or expertise; or because you need technology to work on a European scale. The benefits vastly outweigh the costs and we led a team of Europe’s top specialists which gave everybody access to a massive pool of knowledge.”

Dave Sanders | alfa
Further information:
http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>