DVB, the standards organization that among other things developed the terrestrial TV standard which ushered in the analog-to-digital transition in Europe, has a new chairman, and he’s on a mission. “We need to redefine ourselves,” says Peter MacAvock, who took over as chairman in June. But one thing definitely not on the DVB road map to the future is a worldwide terrestrial television standard.
The Future of Broadcast Television Initiative gathered representatives at the NAB Show this week to begin its formidable quest to develop a worldwide broadcast TV standard. “The challenges of a global specification may seem daunting, but the benefits of achieving such a goal are enormous,” said Switzerland’s Phil Laven. The new standard would replace a variety of incompatible digital standards now in use. The hope is the new specifications will let TV stations broadcast future services like ultra high-definition television and 3D as well as improve mobile recepton and integrate broadcasting fully with the Internet.
April’s NAB Show will see a meeting of an umbrella group that will try to move beyond all the different, incompatible broadcast television standards to single, next-generation world standard within the next two to five years. The group, the Future of Broadcast Television (FoBTV), is the brainchild of ATSC’s Mark Richer and NHK’s Keiichi Kubota. Richer makes a compelling case for its mission that includes ensuring that consumers would be able to take their mobile devices across international borders with confidence that they keep on working. The work the FoBTV committee deserve the full support of the U.S. broadcasting industry.