18 January 2011, London -- Recommendations published by the Digital TV Group (DTG) on the future of the UK horizontal digital TV market have received the backing of government and stakeholders.
In 2010 the DTG launched a consultation: Delivering an interoperable, efficient, stable and innovating horizontal digital TV market, open to any organisation or individual with an interest in digital terrestrial television in the UK.
Consultation responses and subsequent meetings with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), Ofcom and other stakeholders formed the basis of a report to the DTG's governing Council in December 2010. Key recommendations in the report were:
The report's recommendations were approved by DTG Council and received further backing when they were welcomed by the government departments responsible for digital switchover.
In a joint letter to the DTG, DCMS and BIS supported the consultation's findings that continued management and communication of platform integrity is needed to ensure stability and to safeguard the consumer. The letter encouraged the DTG to continue to work with industry towards a 'robust' future for the DTT platform.
The report also contained a number of detailed recommendations relating to platform innovation, interoperability and reliability, communication and the future of certification marks after digital switchover.
DTG Chairman David Docherty said: "We are delighted at the cross-industry support that our consultation recommendations have received and we look forward to continuing to work with government, regulators and the DTG's wider membership to develop a roadmap for the ongoing interoperability, stability and technical development of the UK's horizontal digital television platform after digital switchover."
The DTG's Council should work with stakeholders to propose fundamental principles on which future interoperability management should be based. These principles should focus on three key areas:
The DTG should continue to work closely, regularly and systematically with BIS, DCMS, Ofcom, Digital UK, Freeview, DMOL and other stakeholders to improve the efficiency and efficacy of DTT platform management.
The DTG's Council should consider the effectiveness of the current conformance regime and whether it needs strengthening. In particular, whether it should request that Freeview and YouView novate the current 'Digital Tick' requirements into their trade mark licences to allow for the possibility that the Tick is discontinued at the conclusion of digital switchover.
The DTG should build on its existing interoperability expert knowledge base to provide a foundation of information to enable stakeholders to improve consumer communication.
The DTG should update, maintain and publish a DTT ecosystem diagram to ensure a common understanding of roles and responsibilities. This continual 'work in progress' should reflect changes in organisational responsibilities as well as technology developments and be published twice a year, but in exceptional circumstances such as a radical change in structure in the horizontal platform, be published immediately.
DTG Council should review progress quarterly, mindful that any additional multiplex licence requirements need to be established in Q1 2011.
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Hannah Langston, Press and Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0)20 7501 4300
The Digital TV Group (DTG) is the focal point of the UK's digital TV industry. The Group, a not-for-profit membership organisation, brings the industry together to enable the successful delivery and evolution of digital TV and associated technologies.
The DTG publishes and maintains the technical specification for the UK's Freeview and Freeview HD platforms and Connected TV (the D-Book) and runs the digital television industry's test centre: DTG Testing.
To encourage international harmonisation, the DTG is engaged with DECE (Ultraviolet), ETSI, HbbTV and the Open IPTV Forum. The DTG allows Digital Europe to use areas of its copyright under licence.
DTG Testing tests digital TV products applying for the Freeview, Freeview+ and Freeview HD logos against the D-Book standard.
DTG Testing also manages the Engineering Channel for continuous maintenance of the UK's Freeview and Freesat platforms, and maintains a receiver collection for testing new transmission modes and software downloads.
The DTG and DTG Testing supports the development and deployment of next generation technologies such as LTE (4G), TV white spaces, second screen and home networking.