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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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB)?
Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) is a digital radio transmission technology developed in South Korea that allows for the broadcast of multimedia content, such as TV, radio, and datacasting, to mobile devices and vehicles. It's an evolution of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) and is tailored for mobile reception and designed to operate alongside existing services.
How does DMB differ from traditional broadcasting methods?
Unlike traditional broadcasting that often relies on analog signals, DMB uses digital encoding to transmit data, which results in higher quality audio and video, more efficient use of bandwidth, and the ability to provide interactive services. Additionally, DMB is specifically optimized for reception by mobile and portable devices, even at high speeds, which is not typically a consideration for traditional broadcasting methods.
Can DMB be received on any smartphone or device?
No, not all smartphones or devices are capable of receiving DMB signals. To receive DMB content, a device must have a built-in DMB tuner or be connected to a DMB receiver. While DMB is more common in South Korea, it's not as widely adopted in other parts of the world, so the availability of DMB-enabled devices may vary by region.
What kind of content can be accessed through DMB?
DMB users can access a wide range of multimedia content, including live television broadcasts, radio programs, and data services such as news, weather updates, and traffic information. The technology supports both video and audio services, providing a rich media experience for users on the go.
Is DMB technology being used worldwide?
DMB technology has seen the most significant adoption in South Korea, where it was developed. While there have been trials and some adoption in other countries, such as Germany, Norway, and Ghana, it has not become a global standard. The adoption of DMB is influenced by various factors, including existing broadcasting infrastructure, regulatory environments, and consumer demand for mobile TV services.