Wandering in Fields of Idiots

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DVB-T2 the Cost Debate

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DVB-T2 is an 'improved' version of the existing methods we use to broadcast digital television using traditional terrestrial antennas. The idea is to achieve a better than 30% improvement in available capacity.

There is a question that has been circulated to the group discussing the design of this system: "how much will it cost?", the true cost is not the transmission system but the cost of the boxes. Here are some of my thoughts, many of which I have not sent to the DVB-T2 group because they fall outside of the debate I want to involve myself in.

DVB-S2 was a clear choice in a system with such traditionally poor modulation densities as DVB-S and I am unsure as to the interest for T2 in price sensitive markets where spectrum might not be so hard to come by. T2 solves the problem of spectrum availability in countries with an already high digital TV take-up.

 My view of this would that from what I have been reading it is difficult to know the take up of these products because we aren't sure who could be planning to use this system. I know there will be volume in the UK but this could be from approx 2011/12 with a progressive roll out and exclusively HD services at launch. I also believe there is unlikely to be a DSO between T1/T2 for a long period due to public service obligations. But I am unaware of the rest of the market volume other than general reports of vague interest.

The commercial modelling is itself lead by the potential market volume which is as yet uncertain and the cost of the silicon would only be important in the survival of the option. I am concerned that critical volume may put the price at a point at which many operators would not choose the product, as we already negotiate the cost of types of connector. The actual price is not the issue, just the question if people will pay it? Odd I know.

I invite comment.