Tokyo Pilot Experiment Phase Two

Moving towards the introduction of digital terrestrial television broadcasting, the Tokyo Pilot (Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Tokyo Pilot Project) was established in the Autumn of 1998 and since then has been conducting experiments in the Kanto district. Additionally, since 1999, joint research development facilities were established where promotional experiments were conducted in Hokkaido (Sapporo), Tohoku (Sendai), Shinetsu (Nagano), Hokuriku (Kanazawa), Tokai (Nagoya), Kinki (Osaka), Chugoku (Hiroshima), Takamatsu/Okayama, Kyushu (Fukuoka), and Okinawa.
The Tokyo Pilot performed phase one experiments mainly concerning digital terrestrial transmission characteristics such as TV program and mobile reception. These were followed by the fiscal 1999 phase two experiments regarding transmission of video, audio, and data, which were application-oriented tests similar to the actual services. An outline of the phase two experiments from September, 1999 to March, is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Tokyo Pilot phase 2 experiment outline
Video transmission
Experiment name Outline Major participant companies, etc
Transmission/ reception test Transmission parameters and reception quality, CM transmission. NHK, 5 commercial broadcasters
New video services New video services experiments such as for interactive programs which do not require return channels and panoramic videos. TV Asahi, NHK Integrated Technology, NTV
CATV transmission OFDM reception over cable TV, Frequency conversion, Passthrough. Maspro Denkoh, Yagi Antenna, Radiocommunication Technology Association
Satellite distribution Transmission experiment of HDTV and multiple SDTV hybrid programming via satellite. Space communication, Mitsubishi Electric
Closed-captioning broadcast Closed-Captioning transmission. NHK, 5 commercial broadcasters

EPG/data transmission
Experiment name Outline Major participant companies, etc
EPG service EPG function development, Development of the EPG service. IBLabs., NHK, Nippon TV, Fuji TV
Data transmission Verification of multimedia data contents transmission,various presentation function experiment, and BML* data transmission. Fuji TV, NHK, Fujitsu
Mobile medium Interactive program experiment using portable receiver
Various antenna for mobile reception
Denso, Maspro Denkoh, FM Tokyo, NHK, TBS, TV Asahi, NTT DoCoMo
Interactive services Electronic commerce
Interactive contents, Application for CM
ITF, Fuji TV, NTT.
EPG terminal operability Verification of interface operability for visually impaired people. NEC, the MPT, Keio University.
*XML-based multimedia coding sheme
Extracted from the Tokyo Pilot (Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Tokyo Pilot Project) reference.

Among these, in this article I will introduce two of the experiments: data broadcasting and EPG service. Both experiments were conducted with the Tokyo Tower being established as their program transmission facility. This is also where the Tokyo Pilot experiment station (UHF Channel 15/Transmission power 100W) is located.

1. Data broadcasting (TV program associated service)
During January 7 through January 21, 2000, performance verification tests were conducted on the reception of XML-based multimedia coding data which were to be broadcast with TV programs, data carousel transmission/reception and TV program associated data service for the digital terrestrial television broadcasting. The experimental program was received at Fuji TV (Odaiba), and an open demonstration was presented to the members of the Tokyo Pilot.
NHK, Fuji TV, and Fujitsu sent out their contents, confirmation of normal reception and measuring of reception waiting time were carried out.

2. EPG service (Program indexing)
During February 21 through February 25, 2000, the Project conducted experiments to confirm digital terrestrial television broadcasting's application of program indexing systems, which transmit various attached index signals as part of the TV program contents. For example, one of the experiments was to transmit indexing of score data on a baseball program to retrieve specific game scenes for viewing. The experimental data was received at the Information Broadcasting Laboratories, Inc. (IBLabs., Asakusa). Another open demonstration for the project members was held on the last day of the experiment, February 25.
This series of experiments were carried out with the cooperation of the IB Labs, NHK, Nippon TV, and Fuji TV.