International Lecture - Future of Broadcast Television
For many years, Governments took the lead in setting national standards for TV broadcasting, usually taking account of the views of national broadcasters and indigenous manufacturers. Starting in the mid-1980s, the European Commission made several attempts to achieve harmonised TV standards across Europe - fortunately, these initiatives eventually failed.
The advent of digital broadcasting in the 1990s offered the possibility of global standards - but the "not invented here" syndrome ensured incompatible regional standards (e.g. ATSC, DVB, ISDB and DTMB). In recent years, Governments and regulators in Europe have adopted a policy of technological neutrality, thus handing responsibility to industry groups such as DVB.
With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that many decisions on national or international TV standards were either short-sighted or simply crazy.
Looking ahead, how can we avoid making similar mistakes in the future?
Phil Laven is Chairman of the DVB Project, acting on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) where he was Director of the Technical Department from May 1997 until August 2007.
Before joining the EBU, he worked for the BBC where most of his work was associated with R&D, including being Chief Engineer R&D with responsibility for all of the BBC's R&D activities.
As Controller of Engineering Policy from 1993 to 1997, he played a leading role in the development of the BBC's policy on many technical developments, such as the introduction of digital audio broadcasting and digital television. Between 1994 and 2009, he was Chairman of the ETSI/EBU/CENELEC Joint Technical Committee (which is responsible for setting European standards for broadcasting systems).
In April 2012, he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the FOBTV initiative.
DTG is located just north of the MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross – and thus is well served by National Rail and Victoria lines. There are also many buses plus the river bus at St George’s Wharf Pier/ Tate Britain.
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