Mobile DVB-T Experiment

Some years ago I bought this extremely small receiver for digital terrestrial tv reception, according to the DVB-T standard. It is developed by the company Hauppauge. In fact the USB memory stick size receiver consist of two (!) receivers, either for diversity reception or dual receive. In the beginning of the 90´s I did participate in a Swedish project named HD-Divine. The main project goal was to develop the first European digital terrestrial HD system. The project was demonstrated live in Amsterdam in 1992 at the International Broadcasting Convention. This project success became the start-up for implementation of DVB standards also for satellite and cable reception. The project receiver at that time was a 19 inch rack in size and the power consumption was in the range of kilowatts!

This is what you can do with the Hauppauge Nova-TD receiver together with a PC:

WinTV-NOVA-TD Stick features

  • Watch Freeview digital TV programmes, in a window or full screen. Pause digital TV with instant replay.
  • Diversity digital DVB-T Stick. USB 2.0 bus powered for laptop or desktop PCs.
  • Record digital TV programmes to your PC's hard disk in native MPEG-2 quality. Play them back at any time.
  • Schedule TV recording using WinTV-Scheduler or the free 7 day EPG (Electronic Programme Guide). See a guide of upcoming digital TV programmes. Schedule TV recordings with a single click of the mouse!
  • Media Center compatible. Watch and record TV with Microsoft’s Windows Media Center*.
  • Includes new Hauppauge’s IR remote control for easy control of WinTV or Microsoft Media Center application.

The diversity receiver together with the supplied two small antennas.

This is how the user interface looks on my net-book PC screen, Acer Aspire One. When scanning for tv and radio channels a total of 44 channels was found at my home. One very nice feature is the possibiliy to make quick tv recordings, which are stored on the pc or its external memory drive.

With the diversity reception it should be possible to use the receiver also for mobile reception. The photo shows an experimental set-up for mobile tv.

DVB-T Mobile 1(2) from Kjell Bergqvist on Vimeo.

It was no interruption in the reception above 90 km/h. I think it will work perfect also slightly above 100 km/h.

DVB-T Mobile 2(2) from Kjell Bergqvist on Vimeo.

The large building in central Haninge is where the HD-Divine project took place. The tv reception was perfect on the 10 km roundtrip. I think that passengers, not just in cars, should benefit most of mobile reception. The diversity technique enhances also fixed reception, which is very good for e. g. indoor reception.

This is what the DVB Project says about DVB-T mobile use:

Whilst not originally designed to target mobile receivers, DVB-T performance is such that mobile reception is not only possible, but forms the basis of some commercial services. The use of a diversity receiver with two antennas gives a typical improvement of 5 dB in the home and a 50% reduction in errors is expected in a car.

The new coming standard DVB-T2 aims, beside others, on portable and mobile reception:

In the years ahead, in countries where DVB-T services have become well-established, regulators will be keen to achieve full Analogue Switch-Off (ASO) and, in the process, release valuable UHF and VHF spectrum for other purposes. Some countries have already completed ASO. One option at ASO will be the introduction of new services using DVB-T2 technology. This could enable, for example, the roll out of new nationwide multiplexes offering multichannel HDTV services, or perhaps innovative new datacasting services. As with DVB-T, the new standard is certain to target not just roof-top and set-top antennas, but also PCs, laptops, in-car receivers, and a whole range of other innovative receiving devices.