DVB Project starts work on specifications for TV over 5G

The DVB Project has approved commercial requirements for DVB-I service support over 5G networks and systems.

The industry group can now move ahead with developing technical specifications for TV services over 5G. It expects to have these ready in Q3 2022 and will continue to update the standards as 5G networks advance.

Work has already commenced in its Technical Module to provide extensions to the relevant existing specifications – including DVB-I service discovery and DVB-DASH – to address the use cases and requirements collected and agreed by the Commercial Module.

Earlier this month, the DVB Steering Board approved the publication of the commercial requirements (DVB Bluebook C100).

The document not only provides a set of 70 technical and procedural requirements, but also introduces key elements of 5G networks and systems related to media distribution including 5G Broadcast, 5G Media Streaming and other ongoing activities in 3GPP. In particular, LTE-based 5G Broadcast provides all functionalities to operate classical TV services including receive-only, free-to-air and high-power high-tower network infrastructures.

The commercial requirements were developed based on six guiding use cases, all documented in an annex to BlueBook C100.

5G-based technologies promise to enable content and service providers to access mobile devices, typically interfacing with installable apps. 5G-based distribution to other types of receiver, such as moving vehicles, devices connected to roof-top mounted antennas or 5G-based home gateways, is not excluded.

A particular benefit of DVB-I services over 5G is the ability to support integrated DVB-I hybrid services, i.e., services for which the basic broadcast distribution is augmented with unicast for extended service coverage, lower distribution costs, improved quality and additional user experiences.

The commercial requirements themselves are structured in technical and procedural aspects. Generally, the requirements ask for specifications to support different Rel-16-based 5G operation modes, namely 5G Broadcast, unicast-based 5G Media Streaming, concurrent delivery of the same service over both modes, and hybrid DVB-I services.

In all cases it is expected that the specifications reuse existing DVB technologies to the extent possible and provide commonalities with other IP-based DVB delivery means.

The requirements are clustered in different service-operation phases, namely provisioning, announcement and detection, components, distribution and delivery, quality and monitoring, as well as client-related aspects. While they are extensive and detailed, it is expected that many are already covered by the existing DVB-I specification or would only demand minor extensions. This is a benefit of the original DVB-I design to provide a TV service platform independent of the access layer.

Secondly, the DVB-I over 5G system is expected to align with common industry practices, for example those developed in 3GPP, 5G-MAG or other organisations that contribute to successful deployment of media and TV services over 5G.