EBU Backs New Global Broadcasting Initiative

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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has joined 12 other international broadcasting bodies in founding the landmark Future of Broadcast Television (FOBTV) initiative in Las Vegas.

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Reflecting the EBU's position, FOBTV stresses the unique attributes of terrestrial broadcasting as a flexible and efficient means of wireless media delivery. Its participants want to facilitate the evolution of broadcasting technology to ensure its long term viability and relevance.

EBU Technology & Development Director Lieven Vermaele signed an FOBTV Memorandum of Understanding at the NAB Show 2012. He then addressed a session dedicated to the initiative, where he focused on the value of terrestrial broadcasting to society.

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After his presentation he said: “Terrestrial broadcasting and mobile broadband are both important but neither technology alone will be able to meet future demand for wireless media. We need to innovate using them together, in a complementary way. Broadcast can be the backbone as it can deliver the coverage, quality of service and capacity we will increasingly need. Broadband will extend the range of services and enable access to all categories of user device.”

The FOBTV initiative builds on last November's Future of Broadcast TV Summit, in Shanghai, China, where broadcast leaders formed a framework for the evolution of digital terrestrial television.  

The new Memorandum of Understanding sets out five objectives for the FOBTV initiative:

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1.    Develop ecosystem models for terrestrial broadcasting, taking into account business, regulatory and technical aspects;
2.    Develop requirements for next generation terrestrial broadcast systems, taking into account the needs of a connected society and maximizing the efficient use of spectrum;
3.    Foster collaboration between digital TV development laboratories;
4.    Recommend major technologies that can be used as the basis for unified new standards;
5.    Request standardization of technologies by appropriate organizations, such as DVB, ATSC, ARIB, and others.

The DVB Project, the digital TV standards body hosted by the EBU, is also a signatory of the FOBTV agreement. The others are the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC); Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC); Communications Research Center (CRC); Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI); Globo TV Network; IEEE Broadcast Technology Society; National Association of Broadcasters (NAB); National Engineering Research Center of Digital TV of China (NERC-DTV); NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories; Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Brazilian Society of Television Engineering (SET).

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About the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
The EBU serves 85 national media organizations in 56 countries in and around Europe. It represents its Members and promotes the values and distinctiveness of public service media in Europe and around the world. The Eurovision and Euroradio networks deliver news, sports, events and music to EBU Members and other media organizations. Services to Members range from legal advice, technical standardization and development to coproduction and exchange of quality European content.

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