Digital Terrestria TV

NTL has pioneered the development of MPEG-2 video compression systems and is now a leading player in the introduction of digital terrestrial television for the UK. We were first to broadcast multi-channel digital TV terrestrially in February 1995 and since then work has progressed steadily on a 2000-carrier system working to the European specification of the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) group.

NTL has switched on its first DVB compliant Digital Terrestrial Television transmitter serving the London area. This is the first of many to be built in readiness for the introduction of public services in early 1998.

First building block

NTL's London digital transmission facility has been built as a blueprint for the operational systems which will be needed in early 1998. This mini-network is capable of reaching 10 million homes, and will facilitate early test transmissions for manufacturers, broadcasters and consumers. During the tests these transmissions will enable field measurements to be carried out to verify coverage predictions of the joint NTL/ITC/BBC frequency plan. The operation of indoor set-top antennas will also be evaluated.

DVB compliant

NTL has given many over-air demonstrations of its OFDM digital transmission capabilities since 1992. The RF signals now being radiated comply with the 2K option of the DVB-T specification and can be configured to deliver any permissible combinations of the modulation mode, guard interval and error protection. The London transmission facility operates at the full power of 10 kW E.R.P. and includes built-in automatic redundancy switching, monitoring and telemetry.

End-to-end system capability

NTL is internationally renowned for its expertise in the design, fast roll-out and operation of major broadcast transmission networks. The new UK Channel 5 network of 33 transmitters and digital satellite distribution was completed in under a year. NTL has pioneered the development of OFDM and MPEG-2 compression systems and has played a leading role in the establishment of European standards. Internationally we have a strong track record for studio and broadcast network design, installation, project management and consultancy.

This expertise and capability enables NTL to offer end-to-end digital broadcasting solutions including network build and operation, frequency planning, programme distribution, digital compression and multiplexing, subscriber management and conditional access.

Looking at the digital future

Digital Terrestrial TV offers exciting and commercially attractive opportunities to broadcasters in the UK and internationally for expanding and developing their business. NTL with its breadth of expertise and capability in digital broadcasting intends to play a major role in developing and implementing the needs of broadcasters in this market.

As we approach the start of the digital era, NTL recognises that the needs and aspirations of broadcasters old and new will be many and varied. We hope we can play a positive role in turning these aspirations into reality.

For further information please e-mail us at
or telephone +44 1962 822281


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ęCopyright 1997 National Transcommunications Ltd.