D-Book 11: DTT Requirements for Interoperability


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 peoples 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 largely down to the reliable products and services on the UK DTT platform.

The D-Book has successfully introduced High Definition and DVB-T2, in addition to supporting 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.

D-Book 10 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. In addition, through an analysis of broadcaster requirements, we removed HD/SD LCN switching and Broadcast Record lists.

D-Book 11 adopts a number of corrigenda to D-Book 10, 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. In recognition that Standard Definition receivers are no longer provided with a Trade Mark License in the UK, the SD receiver and recorder profiles have been removed and the chapter describing SCART and HDMI connectivity have been removed. Additionally, in the RF chapters (9 and 10), 700 MHz coexistence testing has been adopted in place of the 800 MHz coexistence testing to reflect future spectrum allocations. Overall the number of RF tests has been rationalised, by removing tests no longer required due to developments in receiver design.

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
Associate Director, DTG Testing
October 2018

In his role as Associate 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 Pioneers Digital Design Centre creating test and verification software for a variety of MPEG-1, MPEG-2 video, VSB, and QAM silicon designs.