Sky concludes second mobile TV trial

Says Qualcomm's MediaFLO is better than DVB-H

Sky has announced the completion of its second mobile TV trial on Tuesday and has concluded that Qualcomm 's MediaFLO technnology has a clear advantage over its DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) rival.

Qualcomm said the results confirmed earlier findings from its first trial with Sky held in Cambridge last year. Peggy Johnson, president of the company's internet services division, said that MediaFLO had been developed as a global standard and had proven to be robust. Specific findings of the Manchester trial comparing MediaFLO with DVB-H include:

  • MediaFLO physical layer field performance was measured to be around 4.5 dB overall better for non-layered modes with comparable bit per second per hertz capacity.
  • The FLO physical layer performed better than previously published.
  • Qualcomm proposes that a 4.5 dB advantage would allow a MediaFLO network to either cover twice the geographical area per transmitter when applying modes of equal capacity - resulting in a substantial reduction in network expense - or provide double the service offering on a channel count basis for a constant cell size with the same spectrum and transmitter deployment.
  • The use of a layered mode and codec in a MediaFLO System can provide additional link margin of 2 dB or increased channel capacity.

Qualcomm is currently developing a multi-format chip that will enable portable devices to receive numerous different kinds of mobile broadcasting, including MediaFLO, DVB-H and DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting)

Companies bringing mobile services, like the ones offered by MediaFLO and DVB-H, will undoubtedly be bidding for the analogue TV spectrum when Ofcom puts it up for auction. The increased bandwidth on offer is key to delivering the services.

However, the HDforAll group wishes to use the same spectrum to deliver free high-definition content to British homes.