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What is Digital Multimedia Broadcasting?

South Korea adopted digital multimedia broadcasting in 2005.
Digital multimedia broadcasting can be transmitted through both satellite and terrestrial methods.
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  • Written By: Venus D.
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2014
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Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) is a method of bringing multimedia images, radio, Internet, and television to portable devices through digital radio transmissions. It can be transmitted through both satellite (DMB-S) and terrestrial (DMB-T) methods. The transmission is received by a hand-set that could be installed in cell phones, laptops, navigation systems, or digital cameras. Its use is limited, as the United States and several other countries, as of 2006, have not adopted it.

Digital Multimedia Broadcasting, both satellite and terrestrial transmissions, was adopted by South Korea in 2005. It is capable of running on III (VHF) and L (UHF) radio frequency bands. Terrestrial transmissions make use of some of the most sophisticated video and audio coding available to provide the best quality images. Satellite transmission is capable of covering an entire country and is already being used by TU Media, a component of the South Korean communication company SK Telecom, to provide over 12 video and 20 audio channels to subscribers on the go. DMB-T services provide seven video, 13 audio, and eight data channels.

South Korea, with one of the highest numbers of Internet users in the world, has not only fully adopted both DMB-S and -T, but it is also intent on promoting its use abroad. South Korean conglomerates such as LG electronics and Samsung conduct frequent international demonstrations.

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Handheld-Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-H) is the chief rival of this technology. When promoting this technology during a 3GSM conference in Cannes, LG electronics emphasized that DVB-H makes for higher infrastructure costs, since the technology is less compatible with Eureka 147 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), the standard for digital radio transmission used commonly throughout the world. DMB is designed to be compatible with DAB. In fact, it uses DAB as a transported medium to stream images.

Much of the technological components necessary for Digital Media Broadcasting and Digital Video Broadcasting transmissions, however, are similar. Having originated in Europe, DVB is a set of internationally accepted standards for digital television. There are four formats in which it is available: Satellite (DVB-S), Terrestrial (DVB-T), Cable (DVB-C), and Handheld (DVB-H).

Manufacturers of chips, handsets, and other technology necessary to fully implement this digital broadcasting entertainment innovation are anticipating a tremendous growth in sales. Success in South Korea alone, with a projected 6.6 million subscribers to services by 2010, suggests that the use of Digital Multmedia Broadcasting will be further expanded.

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