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Media Broadcast's Freenet TV Service, Germany

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Eurofins Digital Testing has worked with Germany’s premier service provider on the world’s first DVB-T2/HEVC deployment to validate receiver specifications, deliver DTT and HbbTV test suites, and provide long term conformance regime advice.

Media Broadcast, Germany’s biggest service provider to the media and broadcasting industry (with almost 100 years of experience), has successfully delivered DVB-T content via its terrestrial broadcast network since 2002. As technology advanced and new commercial opportunities emerged, Media Broadcast set a vision to harmonise their terrestrial network offering across Germany, and to provide additional capacity for private channels via paid for service to customers. Given the advances in technology they also sought to deliver a new benchmark for picture quality in Germany.

To achieve their goals, Media Broadcast moved forward with a digital migration from DVB-T (using MPEG-2) to DVB-T2 using HEVC, which would both allow for additional channels and the ability to deliver services in full HD (1080p) c(styled ‘freenet TV’) platform. A key component of this vision was the ability to ensure a high level of quality from the devices which would be sold in the market. Eurofins Digital Testing were engaged to help deliver this.

Freenet TV Receiver

The starting point was ensuring that the DTT receiver specification was complete and where possible aligned with industry practice. Media Broadcast recognised that to have quality devices their specification would need to cover all of their requirements and be written in a way to ensure receivers can be developed and tested in conformance with that specification. Through years of experience working with receiver specifications, Eurofins Digital Testing were able to provide valuable insight and input for the content of the specification and to ensure what was produced would be of the highest quality.

Eurofins Digital Testing also authored the Media Broadcast HbbTV Requirements Specification which clearly and concisely documented the HbbTV features which Media Broadcast required over and above the official HbbTV specification. Again this was possible due to years of working as a key member of the HbbTV association and through the development and support of a great many HbbTV test materials either as part of the official test suite or developed specifically for other regimes.

Following the initial engagement Eurofins Digital Testing then, using our experience based on our core competencies, developed all of the DTT and HbbTV testing materials which Media Broadcast required for the conformance of devices. First a DTT test suite was produced, along with an RF test plan, to ensure features such as HEVC, channel switching, audio, subtitles, teletext and SI/PSI were covered, along with a number of other tests and an RF test plan for both DVB-T and DVB-T2 to cover devices while the switch-over happened. In total the DTT and RF test suite covered more than 117 test conditions. This was followed by the development of an HbbTV test suite to be fully compatible with the industry-standard Ligada iSuite HbbTV test harness. This comprises 46 tests relating to Media Broadcast’s HbbTV implementation including tests on the conditional access system (CAS) HbbTV interface, streaming formats, performance, PVR and download features and terminal capabilities.

Following the creation of the test materials Eurofins Digital Testing have also offered, provided and continue to provide testing services for manufacturers using our ISO 17025 accredited laboratory to test for receiver conformance and to help extend the value of our experience beyond Media Broadcast directly to manufacturers.

The Freenet TV service was successfully launched in May 2016. Eurofins continues to work with Media Broadcast as they roll out additional services and expand their geographical reach by providing conformance regime advice and ongoing testing services for devices.

DTT Test Suite

The DTT and RF test suite comprised 117 tests that cover: 

CAS HbbTV Interface

Remote control

Streaming Formats

HTTP

Channel Switching

Service List

AV Sync

Lifecycle

Download and PVR

Terminal Capabilities

Performance