SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 12th June 2018 – Free TV and Broadcast Australia (a BAI Communications Company) in partnership with ABC, SBS and TXA have successfully completed the first phase of next generation television laboratory trials. This trial is a world first for 7 Megahertz (MHz) very high frequency (VHF) transmissions with off-air fed ultra high frequency (UHF) repeater sites operating in a single frequency network (SFN) using multiple physical layer pipes.

The laboratory trials were conducted on Broadcast Australia’s premises in Chatswood to successfully demonstrate the performance of the technology in a controlled setting. DVB-T2 technology is one of the potential replacement technologies for the existing DVB-T standard for digital terrestrial television delivery. When combined with new compression technologies, DVB-T2 has the ability to deliver 4K TV reception – providing viewers with picture quality four times better than the current high definition standard – as well as greater programming flexibility for free-to-air broadcasters.

Building on the success of this initial testing phase, field trials have now commenced across the Gore Hill, Kings Cross and North Head transmission sites in Sydney. The current field trial will assess the performance of next generation DVB-T2 technologies in the Australian environment. The trial will help demonstrate the viability and suitability of the technology in unlocking the next evolution of terrestrial free-to-air television for the 99% of the Australian population it services.

Broadcast Australia has been working with equipment manufacturers for this trial, including Rohde & Schwarz, ENENSYS, TestTree, TeamCast, Ericsson Media Solutions, TRedess and NEC. The trial has demonstrated the compatibility of their equipment with the DVB-T2 configurations suitable for use in Australia and interoperability of equipment from multiple vendors.

“We are extremely pleased with success of the DVB-T2 laboratory trial and very excited to be at the forefront of global innovation with the ongoing field trial we have commenced. These trials would not have been possible without the support of the equipment manufacturers, Free TV, ABC and SBS. We’re very appreciative of their support in this important step in the evolution of broadcast and eager to work alongside them in continuing to define and demonstrate the future potential of broadcasting through DVB-T2” said Broadcast Australia’s Chief Technology Officer, Stephen Farrugia.

“This trial is pioneering the way for the future evolution of our digital terrestrial television platform,” said Bridget Fair, Chief Executive Officer, Free TV. “After the successful lab trials, we’re excited to move into this next phase of field testing and identify new opportunities and quality standards for our viewers.”