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THOUGHT: Preparing for DVB-T Television end of this month
Posted by Arne Hess - on Sunday, 01.05.05 - 18:57:15 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 13301x
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Here in Munich where I live, the DVB-T countdown has started and will become alive end of this month. DVT-T (Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial - and in all its different classes with C for Cable, S for Satellite and T for Terrestrial) delivers virtually any digital to the home. Whether it's High Definition TV, multiple channel Standard definition TV (PAL, NTSC or SECAM) or new broadband multimedia content and interactive services, DVB delivers owing to the use of MPEG-2 packets as "data containers", and the critical DVB Service Information surrounding and identifying those packets.

DVB-T is either adopted, in trial or already launched in many European and Asian as well as Oceania countries. Following the successful expansion of the DVB-T network in Germany's capital Berlin two years ago, the next phase is now underway. Since 24 May 2004, up to 20 TV programs on five channels can be received in the Cologne / Bonn area, and up to 16 TV programs on four channels each in Hanover / Braunschweig and Bremen / Unterweser. In November 2004, additional channels started operation; the areas to be covered include the Dusseldorf area / Ruhr district, Hamburg, Lubeck, Kiel and the Rhine-Main area. The final expansion of this phase in these areas, with up to 24 programs, is scheduled for April 2005. The launch date for DVB-T in Bavaria is on 31 May 2005. In the course of 2005, the network will be further expanded in the reception areas of Rostock / Schwerin, Kassel, Erfurt / Weimar, Halle / Leipzig, Ludwigshafen / Mannheim as well as Stuttgart.

So the old analogue antenna TV is gone end of this month in Munich and as you might have recognized already - I don't have cable at home for several reasons:

  • So far I've received 12 (the most important) channels in Munich via analogue antenna anyway.
  • I'm not watching TV that much that a cable contract makes sense for me.
  • Last but not least: a cable is a cable and not wireless/unwired. ;-)

Nevertheless, I've tested DVB-T at my parents already last Christmas when DVB-T was switched-on in Frankfurt and I was truly amazed! The picture quality is fantastic, the sound is Hi-Fi/Dolby Surround, you get extra services like EPG (Electronic Program Guide) but - and that's the downside - you need a set-top box which needs to be plugged between the antenna and the TV.

So I was out yesterday to pick-up my set-top box and I decided to chose the "Siemens Mobile Gigaset M740 AV" DVB-T set-top box which includes some fantastic features (but is available in Germany only yet) I haven't seen with any other set-top boxes:

  • Twin (2) DVB-T receivers
  • 7 days EPG (Electronic Program Guide)
  • Picture in picture functionality
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports to connect USB harddisks
  • 10/100 LAN connector
  • Recoding on USB HDDs or LAN connected PC!
  • Time shift functionality
  • Video, music, picture streaming/playback from the PC to your TV
  • Support for picture and music playlists
  • W-LAN support

That's cool, I can make my TV/set-top box combination part of my home network now and will be able to record TV shows either on my PC or on my external HDD (which is in this case my Apple iPod). TV is recorded in *.mpg which means you can virtually play it on any PC but also with your Pocket PC and Smartphone (if you have a MPEG player installed) and for sure you can stream it back, from your PC to your TV. Additionally you can convert your recordings to VCD/SVCD to burn it to CDs or DVDs or you convert it to WMV to play it with Portable Media Centers (anyone knows if there is a Microsoft Media Center plugin to play MPEG files with Media Center Edition PCs as well?).

While I have decided to wait with my Microsoft Media Center Edition PC until the models I'm awaiting becomes available (either the Shuttle or the latest HP) and until DVB-T is up and running here (so I don't need to buy an analogue TV-card first), for me this is a major step into the connected media home! :-)
Basically it also means for me, that I can access my recorded TV shows from anywhere in the world (thanks to Orb) while - and that's a downside of the Gigaset M740 AV - I can not access the set-top box remotely to program a recording.

Anyway - I'm really excited about the Gigaset M740 AV features and I like the way Siemens made the network and HDD integration. Now DVB-T have to start and I wonder when they will switch it on? I've tested it today but haven't received any channels yet; therefore everything is a little bit theoretic yet but streaming a sample movie from my PC to my TV already worked. ;-) It's going to become a true wireless media spring for me!

Last but not least DVB-T is interesting for another reason called "DVB-H" (Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld) which means live TV broadcasting on your mobile devices - instead of video streaming though 3G/UMTS. DVB-H is already trialing in several regions all over the world and it might be the future of mobile TV. However, the base for DVB-H is DVB-T!

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by Hirsch on 02.05.05 - 16:04:31

Hi Arne,

last week i bought a DVB-T-Box,USB-Version for Notebooks, from the company Terratec,exactly Cinergy2, and actually i got 4 channels (ARD,ZDF,Bayerisches Fernsehen and 3SAT).The picture quality is very very good, the sound could be a little bit louder.
So i was surprised to watch few channels at the moment but i guess it will be a success.
I hope there will be a CF-or SD-Card for Pocket PC's to get television in your job or at home, at friends or elsewhere.

See you soon Arne

Posted by Arne Hess on 02.05.05 - 17:07:10

You mean you already receive some channels here in Munich? Where exactly? In Pasing all I get from the channel search is "low signal quality" if the set-top box picks up a frequency.
Where are you running your DVB-T?

Update: Something happened today! smile When I came home I've tried a re-search of available channels and here we go: ARD, ZDF, BR and 3sat! :)Cool - time to play with my latest gadget! wink

Posted by hirsch on 03.05.05 - 09:53:59

Hi Arne,

i ran my DVB-T-Device  last week in Neuhausen, about 500 meters far away from then Munich Olympiaturm.And  i got 4 channels with a very high picture quality.Maybe i will try to do it this week one again, maybe i get more channels. I will tell you on saturday, if you're in the user group.

Best regards

Posted by peebee on 03.05.05 - 10:09:50

Got DVB-T in Holland. Works great. Indeed an excellent image. Only trouble you can expect is the interference of other objects. In my case THE FRIDGE (sounds scary when writing it). When it gives more power to cool, it interferes a bit with the receiver.

But overal? I am absolutly satified by the results. A big thumbs up from me for DVB-T

Posted by hirsch on 06.05.05 - 12:33:58

@ Arne,
yesterday i did  the next try to receive digital channelds with  my DVB-T Box, but this time i didn't receive any channel.No more luck, i guess i have to wait until end of this month.

Best regards

Posted by Arne Hess on 06.05.05 - 13:05:39

It worked for me yesterday - with ARD, ZDF, 3Sat and BR but I've seen some "lost signal" messages while I watched TV. So yes, it's not stable yet but it doesn't takes that long anymore! big_smile

Posted by hirsch on 09.05.05 - 09:41:05

Good morning to all DBV-T Fans. Yesterday ,sunday i started my next try to receive channels in Munich, but without success. When i scan my DVB-T-device, i only got 4 services in the display, but i don't know which one. Anyway  i have to wait until end of mai, but i hope to receive earlier.

In most of the electronical shops in Munich and around you can get DVB-T devices, but not for PDA's. That 's my hope to get it for this purpose anytime, but idon't know if the transer rate of pda's is suitable for DVB-T.

Best regards hirsch

Posted by hirsch on 09.05.05 - 15:28:58

Today monday noon in Munich , i got four channels once again. The channels call Test-ARD,Test-BF,Test-3-Sat and test-ZDF. Sometimes there are some frozen pictures, but anyway i'm satisfied  to receive something.

Best regards

Posted by hirsch on 10.05.05 - 10:24:22

Yesterday evening i made a very interessant experience. I watched tv with my DVB-T device (PC), and compared the same programm (here it was Bayerisches Fernsehen: Blickpunkt Sport) with my satellite channel on tv and antenna channel on TV as well. It was remarkable that the fastest signal came from the DVB-T device,second was the antenna channel and the last one the satellite signal. Then i changed the channel to ZDF and there was the fastest one the antenna signal, second the DVB-T signal and the last one the satellite signal as well. The difference was about between 2 and 3 seconds.

Does anyone make the same experience?

Best regards

Posted by hirsch on 17.05.05 - 17:57:31

Hi, for one week  i have received permanently the four channelsin Munich, where the DVB-T will beginn on Monday,May 30.
The video and audio rates are perfect and there is no problem to ban a film on a harddisk.
I hope to get the other german channels, especially the private channels.
I can't believe these companies will switch on just on Monday,May 30. Will be there no test? I cannot believe it.

Best regards

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