Activity report 2018-2019

Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and ETSI

Chairman: Antonio Arcidiacono, EBU

Responsible for the standardization of broadcast systems for television, radio, data and other new services via satellite, cable, Satellite Master Antenna Television and terrestrial transmitters, and for the standardization of programme transmission and receiving equipment.

Within ETSI our standardization of broadcast systems, programme transmission and reception equipment is managed by JTC Broadcast – the Joint Technical Committee that brings us together with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). As well as assessing work performed within other organizations, the committee is responsible for broadcast systems (emission-reception combination) for television, radio, data and other services via satellite, cable and terrestrial transmitters.

In 2018 we delivered several standards and specifications for Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB). Areas addressed included UHD TV, data broadcasting, service information and subtitling systems.

We published a Technical Specification (TS) specifying the USB form factor for the second-generation Common Interface (DVB-CI Plus 2.0) that allows subscribers to view pay TV services without requiring a set-top-box. Also in the area of DVB, we published a specification for the DVB Single Illumination System (DVB-SIS) that combines direct-to-home distribution and digital terrestrial television contribution in a single satellite beam.

We published two TS on Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television (HbbTV), covering operator applications and application discovery over broadband.

We completed a multi-part TS describing a high-performance single layer High Dynamic Range (HDR) system with direct backwards compatibility for use in consumer electronics devices.

We published a new TS covering delivery of DVB content services via HTTP adaptive streaming over IP networks using the MPEG-DASH profile. A further TS addressed High Dynamic Range (HDR) signalling and carriage of metadata in DVB compliant systems.

In the area of digital audio, we updated our TS on backwards-compatible object audio carriage using Enhanced AC-3, a widely used transmission format for channel-based audio content. We also published a two-part TS on the AC-4 format, considering coding, immersive and personalized audio.

We published a TS specifying a transport format for Higher Order Ambisonics (HOA) signals; these can deliver a significantly enhanced immersive sound experience compared with conventional stereo or 5.1 channel audio systems. A further TS described a point-source renderer associated with the DTS-UHD audio codec.

As digital radio continues to extend its coverage in Europe and the rest of the world, the JTC continued to maintain the digital radio standards for Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM). In 2018 we also completed work on an Open Mobile Radio Interface (OMRI) Application Programming Interface (API). This can be used by application developers to gain access to broadcast radio tuners in consumer electronics devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Look out for in 2019 – JTC BROADCAST work in progress:

  • Revision to Technical Specification (TS) on single layer High Dynamic Range (HDR) system for use in consumer electronics devices
  • DVB – Revision to TS on Second Generation DVB Interactive Satellite System (DVB-RCS2)
  • Hybrid Digital Radio (DAB, DRM, RadioDNS); revision to XML specification for Service and Programme Information (SPI)
  • Revision to TS on DTS coherent acoustics; core and extensions with additional profiles
  • Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) systems; revision to Harmonised Standard (EN) on specification for Service Information (SI) to support e.g. UHD Phase 2 or TTML subtitles
  • Revision to TS on Broadcast and On-line Services: search, select, and rightful use of content on personal storage systems (‘TV-Anytime’)