After one of the biggest equipment upgrades in the history of broadcasting in Germany, regular operation of DVB-T2 HD started on schedule this year. ZDF, the largest public broadcaster in Germany, selected the R&S AVHE100 encoding and multiplexing solution from Rohde & Schwarz with HEVC technology from the Fraunhofer HHI for its headend implementation. The transition to DVB-T2, including switching off DVB-T, was accomplished without a single hitch in just one night.
The Rohde & Schwarz system handles the central signal processing as well as encoding and multiplexing for the new DVB-T2 network. It uses the new HEVC codec to deliver the best video quality at the lowest possible data rate. This system solution provides realtime HEVC encoding of resolutions up to 4K/UHD at up to 60 frames per second. The integrated HEVC encoder was developed by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI, which also played a major role in the development of the HEVC standard.
The key advantage for this successful application is that, thanks to the integrated Fraunhofer HHI HEVC coder, the R&S AVHE100 offers the best picture quality on the market for HEVC coded content. ZDF has confirmed this in numerous quality and stability tests against established competitors. Another advantage is the statistical multiplexing that makes optimal use of the available bandwidth to provide viewers with outstanding picture quality. ZDF was impressed with the system design, which includes a uniform user interface that is straightforward and easy-to-use, yet extremely powerful. Rohde & Schwarz garnered another point in its favor with the special Dolby audio implementation that exactly meets ZDF requirements.
The R&S AVHE100 is a fully software-based encoding and multiplexing solution that runs on standard IT components. It is an exceedingly flexible solution that can be individually tailored to each customer. Extensions and improvements to the coding and transmission standard are easily incorporated and simple to upgrade on existing systems. The R&S AVHE100 also offers an extremely sophisticated redundancy concept. Its many reliability features ensure especially high failsafety for 24/7 operation.