Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld

Definition of Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld

Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H) is a technical standard for the transmission of digital television signals to handheld devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Developed by the DVB Project, DVB-H enables mobile users to access live TV broadcasts and multimedia content. The system is designed to provide efficient use of bandwidth and to conserve battery life for mobile devices.


Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld in phonetics would be represented as:/ˈdɪdʒɪtəl ˈvɪdɪoʊ ˈbrɔːdkæstɪŋ – ˈhændˌheld/Here it is broken down by word / syllable:- Digital: /ˈdɪdʒɪtəl/- Video: /ˈvɪdɪoʊ/- Broadcasting: /ˈbrɔːd-kæstɪŋ/- Handheld: /ˈhændˌheld/

Key Takeaways

  1. Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H) is a standard for broadcasting live television and multimedia content to mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and portable media players.
  2. DVB-H enables efficient and high-quality video and audio streaming, providing an optimal viewing experience for users on the go. It relies on an optimized transmission system that consumes less power and resources, ensuring longer battery life for mobile devices.
  3. DVB-H is part of the broader DVB Project that encompasses various digital broadcasting standards such as DVB-S, DVB-T, and DVB-C, which target satellite, terrestrial, and cable platforms respectively, aiming to create a unified and seamless broadcasting ecosystem for a wide range of devices and applications.

Importance of Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld

Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H) is an important technology term, as it refers to a digital broadcasting standard specifically designed to deliver live television content to handheld devices, such as mobile phones and tablets.

By enabling more efficient video transmission over limited bandwidth and optimizing video streaming for small screen size and battery consumption, DVB-H provides a seamless and convenient mobile television experience for users.

Its ability to cater to a growing demand for mobile multimedia content has been critical in the evolution of mobile communications, fostering innovation in both mobile devices and broadcast services.

As a result, DVB-H has played a significant role in shaping the way we access and consume media content on the go, while also contributing to the development of the modern digital entertainment landscape.


Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H) is a technology designed with the primary purpose of delivering live television broadcasts and multimedia content to portable devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and handheld digital televisions. The main goal of DVB-H is to provide viewers with a seamless, high-quality experience even while on the move.

By leveraging existing Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standards with additional error correction and optimization features, DVB-H enables reliable, real-time transmission of video and audio data with minimal interruptions caused by signal loss or fading, which are common issues when users are in motion or in areas with poor signal reception. DVB-H is particularly beneficial in situations where individuals are unable to access static digital television broadcasts, such as during travel or in densely populated urban areas where signal interference is more prevalent.

Furthermore, this technology allows for the efficient use of available bandwidth, enabling multiple channels to be streamed simultaneously without compromising quality. By bringing live television and multimedia content to portable devices, DVB-H has revolutionized the way people consume entertainment, news, and information, offering them greater freedom, flexibility, and access to the content they desire – anytime, anywhere.

Through dedicated DVB-H enabled devices or adapter accessories, users can watch their favorite shows, live sports events, or breaking news updates while also enjoying the convenience and portability their handheld devices provide.

Examples of Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld

Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H) is a technology designed for broadcasting television content to handheld devices like mobile phones, tablets, and portable media players. DVB-H allows users to watch live television, news, sports, and entertainment while on-the-go. Here are three real-world examples of DVB-H technology:

Italian Mobile TV service: In 2006, Italy became the first country to launch a commercial DVB-H service called “3 Italia.” This mobile TV service allowed users to access live television channels and other multimedia content on their DVB-H enabled mobile phones. By 2008, 3 Italia had over 1 million subscribers, showing the interest and demand for mobile TV services.

Nokia N92 and N77 Mobile Phones: Nokia, a leading mobile phone manufacturer, introduced DVB-H enabled smartphones like the Nokia N92 and N77 models. These smartphones allowed users to watch live TV broadcasts directly on their mobile devices. The devices had inbuilt antennas and DVB-H receivers to provide a seamless mobile TV experience.

ESPN Mobile TV: In 2007, ESPN launched a mobile TV service in the United States called ESPN Mobile TV. The service used MediaFLO, a competing mobile television broadcast technology based on DVB-H, to deliver live sports content to mobile devices. ESPN Mobile TV offered live broadcasts, video-on-demand, and highlights to sports enthusiasts on their mobile devices.While DVB-H technology made significant headway during its early years, it eventually faced stiff competition from other mobile TV technologies and rapidly evolving mobile internet capabilities. This led to the decline of DVB-H in favor of streaming video services and apps using the mobile internet.

Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld FAQ

What is Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H)?

DVB-H is a digital broadcasting technology that delivers television and radio content to handheld devices like mobile phones and tablets. It provides mobile users with a wide range of multimedia content and services.

What are the advantages of using DVB-H technology?

DVB-H technology offers several benefits, such as efficient use of bandwidth, better reception quality, low power consumption, and the capability to support various multimedia content, including video, audio, text, and interactive services.

How does DVB-H technology differ from traditional broadcasting methods?

Unlike traditional broadcasting methods that require an individual stream for each user, DVB-H uses a single broadcast stream that can be received by multiple users simultaneously. This makes it more efficient in terms of bandwidth utilization and provides a better user experience with less buffering and lag time.

Is a special device required to use DVB-H services?

Yes, to access DVB-H services, users need a device that is compatible with the DVB-H standard. These devices usually come with a built-in DVB-H tuner or can be connected to an external DVB-H tuner. Many smartphones and tablets are now equipped with DVB-H capabilities.

What is the coverage area for DVB-H?

The coverage area for DVB-H depends on the network infrastructure and signal strength provided by the service provider. In general, DVB-H has good coverage and can be received both indoors and outdoors. However, some areas with weaker signals might experience disruptions in service.

Related Technology Terms


  • Mobile TV
  • DVB-H Standards
  • Electronic Service Guide (ESG)
  • Time-slicing
  • Multiprotocol Encapsulation (MPE)


Sources for More Information


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