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First DVB-2 boxes for cable next month

Europe's latest digital TV standard gets hardware only a year after ratification.

The first consumer set-top boxes for Digital Video Broadcasting's (DVB) second generation cable standard will be unveiled in May in Germany.

The rapid deployment of DVB-C2 hardware follows on from the strong uptake for the 2G terrestrial standard in the UK where 1.2 million receivers and compatible TVs have already been sold. Terrestrial box prices have tumbled to an entry level of £70 today from £180 at launch in February 2010.

Peter Siebert, executive director of the DVB Project Office, told the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference, that the DVB-C2 boxes will be launched at the ANGA Cable show in Cologne.

The second generation cable technology offers scalable channel bandwidth which means it can offer both HDTV and 3D broadcasts over broadband networks. “The original standard offered 8MHz bandwidth slots. The new standard is flexible to basically any bandwidth in terms of slots – very wide channels with very high data rates,” said Siebert.

He added that DVB's now roadmap includes standards for mobile TV, advanced conditional access modules, and 3D broadcasts that offer still higher quality than the frame-compatible plano stereo technology available in the 2G versions.

The terrestrial DVB-T2 standard is now moving into Sweden, Italy, Finland and parts of Africa, with strong interest from Singapore and Australia.

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