Sunday, June 18, 2006

Singapore HDTV Ranks Top for World Cup

More Highlights from Broadcast Asia 2006 (Bca206)

The DVB project is again doing a big service to sports fans this time at the Broadcast Asia 2006, Singapore event. They will be ensuring visitors to both CommunicAsia and BCA 2006 will not miss the World Cup from Germany and in high definition TV as they are linking with Singapore cable TV operator, StarHub to take feeds inside the exhibition Halls. StarHub launched HDTV trial services in time for tournament with full rollout later this year.

On the terrestrial side, MediaCorp has launched its HDTV trial over its new terrestrial Channel 38, with the Hollywood blockbuster, The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers. Consumers have bought an estimated 200,000 flat panel HDTV sets, which is about one in every five households. MediaCorp estimates it will cost at least S$100 million (US$63 million) to roll out HDTV on all its terrestrial channels.

This sudden explosion of enthusiasm in Singapore is believed to be as a direct result of the recent appearance of H.264/DVB-S2 boxes, linked to flat panel HD-ready displays that makes bringing HDTV to consumers much more exciting.

As a point of reference, in the UK, BBC HD and Sky HD has been made available to subscribers of the Sky HD satellite service, which is deploying DVB-S2 with H.264/MPEG-4 AVC in time for World Cup in Germany.

Satellite and cable providers in Germany, France, Italy and Scandinavia are all using DVB technology to offer HD broadcasts of the tournament.

In North America, satellite service providers will carry High Definition World Cup coverage using DVB-S and the new powerful DVB-S2 transmission standard in tandem with advanced video codecs (H.264/ AVC). In South America, the Brazilian TVA Digital platform will show HD broadcasts on the Bandsports channel using DVB-S, and TV Globo will use both DVB-S and DVB-C.

Even in Africa, Multichoice South Africa and the South African Broadcasting Corporation are cooperating to run test HDTV transmissions of the tournament in preparation for the country’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

DVB specifications have supported HDTV since 1998 and the first commercial DVB HDTV deployment began in Australia in 2001 using DVB- T. In fact, the World Cup has been a catalyst in bringing DVB technology (DVB-T, DVB-C, DVB-S, and DVB-S2)all at once.

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