A pan-European conformance testing centre has been established to test set-top boxes for the growing digital terrestrial television market.

As European countries approach digital switchover, despite a common specification for digital video broadcasting, implementations of digital terrestrial television tend to differ between countries.

The myriad of options in the DVB standard, and the multiplicity of national network implementations, present a considerable challenge to receiver manufacturers and distributors.

Digital TV Labs has been founded by former executives from middleware provider Cabot Communications to offer test facilities for any company introducing digital terrestrial television receivers in Europe.

Keith Potter, the former managing director of Cabot, recognised the need for an independent testing organisation covering Europe. “We are working with manufacturers through the whole development and deployment cycle, reducing the time to introduce products into each country whilst lowering their testing costs,” he explained.

In the UK, DTG Testing, a company established by the Digital Television Group industry body, currently provides conformance testing for set-top boxes, but Digital TV Labs aims to offer a pan-European service, providing additional advice and assistance.

Digital TV Labs will offer radio-frequency testing together with conformance, performance and interoperability testing of signalling, interactive services, electronic programme guide, teletext, subtitles and user interface features.

The company has a library of streams recorded off air from each country and region, and can optionally offer field testing services.

The aim is to provide a one-stop-shop to enable suppliers to launch products that meet the various legal, technical and market requirements in Europe.