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D-Book 12: DTT Requirements for Interoperability

DTG D-Book 12

The first edition of the DTG D-Book was written in 1996 when DVB-T was new and untried. From the outset, the D-Book was an implementation guideline and referenced fundamental standards where possible. But many of the component parts of the document had not then achieved stable international standards and the UK implementation was, therefore, reproduced in full.

In subsequent editions, it has become possible to reference ETSI or other standards and the previous D-Book section simplified. However, the D-Book as an implementation guideline has become more important as non-UK based manufacturers have sought to introduce products to the UK market.

DTG Testing Ltd was established as an independent testing facility where manufacturers can bring prototype products for verification of their interoperability. Many manufacturers, both small and large, have discovered the advantage of revealing problems at this stage, rather than when they have large numbers of products in the shops or in people’s homes.

As the complexity of the platform increases, the importance of interoperability and test and conformance is bigger than ever. The success of Freeview and Freeview Play continues and is supported by the reliable products and services on the UK DTT platform.

The D-Book has successfully introduced High Definition and DVB-T2, and supported the transition of the DTT Platform out of the 700 MHz band which is planned for completion in 2020. D-Book 9 introduced HbbTV references for Freeview Play and the MHEG to HbbTV transition which included the introduction of support for HEVC and High Dynamic Range (HDR) for IP delivered services.

Since then, the D-Book has continued to support the developments of products and services with the introduction of Single Frequency Network (SFN) support for the migration of COM 7&8 T2 multiplexes into the 700 MHz band (including changes to the coexistence testing), defining the profile of UHD to be supported in compatible receivers for broadcast and bringing the HbbTV requirements up to date with recent work by the HbbTV Association and DVB.

The DTT platform is always evolving and this means removing requirements that are no longer required. Previously this included HD/SD LCN switching and Broadcast Record lists, as well as the complete removal of the SD receiver profiles. For D-Book 12 the required receiver update mechanisms have changed, whilst ensuring that both a local and remote update mechanism is available in all cases. Additionally, the chapters describing Common Interface and Conditional Access systems have been removed.

The D-Book continues to be the foundation of all UK DTT based platforms including Freeview Play, Freeview HD, YouView, EETV and NowTV and the UK DSAT platform, Freesat, as well as several international adaptations. The DTG continues to ensure European harmonisation wherever possible while meeting the needs of the rapidly developing and highly successful UK TV market.

Ian Medland
Director of DTG Testing
October 2019

In his role as Director, Ian leads the DTG Testing operation, including test material development and testing services, overseeing technical architecture and project design and management, ensuring quality delivery to specification, deadline and budget.

Ian joined DTGTL from interactive TV specialists Strategy and Technology (S&T) where he spent over a decade in a variety of roles, culminating in Head of Development – Client Systems, leading a group of engineers based in the UK and Hong Kong developing interactive middleware (MHEG) for digital television receivers.

Ian chairs a number of industry groups within the DTG, including the Technical Oversight Group which oversees all technical activities within the DTG.

Ian started his career as a Test Software Engineer at aviation firm Smiths Industries before spending three years at Pioneer’s Digital Design Centre creating test and verification software for a variety of MPEG-1, MPEG-2 video, VSB, and QAM silicon designs.


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