DTG: secret ingredient in UK TV success story

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The DTG has been shaping the success of British TV for 20 years, and CEO Richard Lindsay-Davies says it should be your first stop on the road to the UK market

The UK TV industry is a towering achievement however you look at it: hugely popular free-to-air TV platforms underpin a thriving pay-TV market, UK consumers have enjoyed the latest technology first — from widescreen to OTT, and it continues to develop through connected platforms and Ultra HD.

How was this achieved? Not by accident, but thanks in no small part to the DTG (Digital TV Group), which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015. The DTG is a non-profit body, formed in 1995 to help launch the world’s first digital terrestrial TV services by defining a common specification for everyone from broadcasters and infrastructure providers, to TV and set-top box manufacturers.

The result was the D-Book, created through a family of cross-industry working groups and published to DTG members. It has been developed through the years to implement not just visible advances like widescreen and HD, but crucial background technology such as Active Format Description, for which the DTG received an Emmy in 2011.

The eighth edition of the D-Book was published in April 2015, and as ever it incorporates high-level standards such as DVB and HbbTV into a practical specification for industry. Its value has inspired other publications, such as the U-Book on best practice for accessibility, and the R-Book guidelines for the installation industry, which was also updated this year at the request of the UK media regulator, Ofcom.

D-Book developments devised by DTG members have also influenced international standards including DVB and HbbTV, such as the Target Region Descriptor, the SSU UNT download signalling in D-Book 8, and ongoing work around signalling of adult content to enable parental controls over streaming services.

Alongside the DTG is DTG Testing, a non-profit subsidiary which also conducts conformance testing and licenses its test suites to manufacturers. Without the stamp of approval from an industry-reviewed and DTG-licensed test suite, products cannot wear the Freeview badge.

If you want to get into the UK TV market, your first stop should be a conversation with the DTG. It’s a small organisation – and great value to members – bursting with industry knowledge from policy and strategy to implementation and testing. Come and meet us at stand Hall 5.A17.

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