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

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>