SBTVD, short for Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão Digital ( _en. Brazilian Digital Television System) or SBTVD-T (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão Digital Terrestre), also known as ISDB-TB, is an
ISDB-based digital televisionstandard for Brazil. Developed by an association including Brazilian government, Brazilian universities and communication companies, the system was launched on December 2 2007.
Before SBTVD, from 1999 to 2000, the ABERT/SET group in Brazil did system comparison tests of DTV under the supervision of the
CPqDfoundation. The comparison tests were done under the direction of a work group of SETand ABERT. The ABERT/SET group selected ISDB-T as the best system among ATSC, DVB-T and ISDB-T. The outdoor coverage of field-tests result in "Brazilian digital television tests" show that ISDB-T is most robust system in Brazil. [ [http://www.set.com.br/artigos/nab.pps ABERT/SET Brazilian digital television tests] ]
Brazil government founded the SBTVD committee on November 27, 2003.
The ISDB standard is currently being used in Japanese largest metropolitan areas. The decision towards its adoption was based partly due to the portability (e.g.
1seg) of this standard allowing people watch TV in portable devices, as cellular phones.
Mobile phone and wireless device access was one of the four requirements made by the Brazilian government for the intended system, the others being high definition, interactive TV and the capability of mobile reception of HDTV or SDTV in a moving vehicle.
The official announcement that ISDB-T modulation would be used as the base for SBTVD came in June 2006. The video codec selected was MPEG-4 (H.264), while Japan uses MPEG-2. As MPEG-4 video demands greater processing power, hardware designed for digital reception in Brazil has to include chips that are usually more expensive than those used in Japanese receivers, thus making compatibility between the two standards only through software modification usually not possible. 1seg broadcasts use the same standard as in Japan, including codec, modulation and interactive features. However, the Brazilian standard allows 1seg video to be broadcast at 30 fps, while the Japanese standard limits framerate to 15 fps.
First public tests
Samsungwas the first company to do a public demo of SBTVD transmissions and receivers on June 19, 2007, although other companies claimed to have receivers ready at the time. At their showroom in São Paulo, two Full HDLCD sets were shown: one with a built-in tuner and another connected to a prototype set-top box. Tuner and set-top box were developed in Brazil, at Samsung's research center in Manaus, Amazonas. 1segbroadcasting to mobile devices was also shown.
The signal was a test reel from
Rede Globo(the biggest TV network in Brazil), broadcast at 1080i(the standard does not define 1080p) consisting of short clips from soap operas, talk shows, soccer games from recent years and footage of the Brazilian Carnivalin Rio de Janeiroalong with some scenic views. All the content was natively HD, some of which was shot with high definition cameras experimentally placed in many of the studios where Globo produces its programs. The 2007 Pan American Gameswere also experimentally broadcast in high definition by Globo. Broadcasts of the event could be seen both from Samsung's show room and electronics megastores that received digital tuners to show and demonstrate the technology to the public.
Start of regular broadcasts
Regular SBTVD broadcasts started on December 2 2007, initially in
São Paulo. As of July 2008, the system was also launched in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonteand Goiânia. The cities of Curitiba, Porto Alegreand Palmasare set to start receiving the signal by the end of 2008 [http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/informatica/ult124u438808.shtml] . The Brazilian government estimates 100% coverage in 7 years. Initial broadcasts lacked the proposed interactive services platform, the middleware named Ginga, which has yet to be supported by set-top boxes developed for the system through firmware updates, if possible. DRM issues are quite unclear. Due to this, early set-top boxes may lack support for this technology, with hardware upgrades being required later or substitution of the whole equpment.At launch on December 2nd, set-top boxes were available for prices ranging between R$900 (~US$450) and R$1200 (~US$600), inhibiting sales. But after 8 months the prices presented a fast reduction and are sold now by R$300 (~US$150). President Lula announced subsidies worth 1 billion Reais (U$ 556 millions) so these prices will face a new reduction phase. [http://ultimosegundo.ig.com.br/economia/2007/12/02/lula_deve_anunciar_incentivo_fiscais_para_decodificadores_1103199.html]
According to the government, analog shutdown is scheduled for 2016.
Countries and territories using SBTVD
* (It was announced on September of 2008 that Argentina is studying the implementation of the ISDB/SBTVD as its Digital TV system)
* [http://www.forumsbtvd.org.br/ SBTVD Forum] - all in Portuguese
* [http://sbtvd.cpqd.com.br/ The SBTVD website of the Brazilian Communications Ministry]
* [http://flickr.com/photos/rigues/sets/72157600401357105/ Pictures of the Samsung Public SBTVD demo in São Paulo]
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