Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) is the protocol that is set in place to define how digital broadcasting will take place making use of various types of audio and video communication networks. As such, it has to do with the way that broadcasting takes place using a mixture of cable, satellite, and terrestrial network infrastructures. This protocol is used in many parts of the world, with Australia, many parts of Europe and Asia, and countries located on the African continent all employing it as the broadcasting standard. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) endorses the use of the technology.
The origins of DVB can be traced back to the early years of the 1990s. During this period, a number of European entities involved with general television broadcasting formed an organization known as the European Launching Group. The membership included a wide range of equipment manufacturers, broadcasting entities, and various government bodies charged with regulating television transmissions throughout countries within Europe. Over time, this group expanded to include other locations as well and renamed itself the DVB Project. At present, this group represents in excess of 200 different organizations that are located in just under 30 nations around the world.
One of the main purposes for DVB is to set the standards for uniform signal transmissions that will be secure. In establishing these standards, the protocols help to prevent the occurrence of transmission piracy. That is, in order to carry or receive the signals, the equipment must be manufactured within specific standards and be configured to specified frequencies. In order to carry the transmission, the standards also involve the use of carefully configured compression processes that allow the signal to be carried from a point of origin to a point of termination easily. At the receiving end, the equipment decompresses the received data and allows the broadcast to complete.
One advantage of using DVB as the protocol of choice in digital media broadcasting is the fact that it represents an open broadcasting system as opposed to a closed one. A closed system is usually content provider specific, can only be used with television broadcasts, and is usually fixed rather than expandable. DVB can provide all the functionality of a closed system, and allows the end user to make use of different content providers. It will also make it possible for personal computers and televisions to interact as a cohesive unit.