Posted on March 8, 2023 in ATSC News
Welcome to our new column “NEXTGEN University Innovations.” There are a number of universities and colleges researching and working on ATSC 3.0 around the world and we will be featuring them throughout the year in this newsletter.
Signal Processing and Radiocommunications Research Laboratory
Bilbao Faculty of Engineering
University of the Basque Country (EHU)
Dr. Jon Montalban – Professor, Department of Electronic Technology
Dr. Eneko Iradier – Professor, Department of Computer Science
Dr. Pablo Angueira – Professor, Department of Communication Engineering
Please tell us about The University of the Basque Country.
The University of the Basque Country (EHU) is the largest University in the north of Spain, with close to 50000 Students. EHU is a comprehensive higher education institution, with faculties in all fields of knowledge, from Fine Arts to Medicine, including all sciences and engineering fields.
The TSR Research Lab is part of the Faculty of Engineering in Bilbao, founded in 1897. The faculty, with close to 2000 alumni, offers several engineering syllabi on various fields, including Bachelor, Master, and PhD program degrees on Telecommunication Engineering (equivalent to North Americas’ Electrical and Electronics Engineering). Telecommunication degrees include several courses on Broadcast related technologies.
The TSR Research Laboratory staff is over 25 researchers, including professors, post-doc researchers, PhD candidates and engineers working for a variety of research projects and industry contracts. Our group scope is wide, and it covers several fields of wired and wireless communication, including Broadcast Systems, Industrial Communications, Smart Grids, Wireless Indoor positioning, and Electromagnetic Modelling. The group was founded in 1992, and took part in some of the first field trials of the OFDM based DTV system DVB-T in 1997 and 1998.
The team working on ATSC is led by professors Montalban, Iradier and Angueira and includes a team of PhD candidates: Rufino Cabrera, Orlando Landrove, Iñigo Bilbao, Dreyelian Morejón, Lorenzo Fanari, and a number of students of the Master Degree in Telecommunications.
Talk about your lab or research initiatives as it relates to ATSC 3.0.
Our Lab has worked for more than 20 years in Broadcast related technologies, with contributions on network planning, frequency management and signal processing applied mainly to DVB and ATSC standards. Examples of contributions from our group are:
Why was it important to you and the institution to begin research or work in the ATSC 3.0 or terrestrial broadcast ecosystem?
After being involved in various technical contributions to the standards under the DVB umbrella, like DVB-T and DVB-T2, ATSC 3.0 offered an excellent opportunity to share some of our developments and ideas on PHY layer with the broadcast industry. Starting in 2013, we participated in different technical groups, TG3-S32 Physical Layer, TG3-S34 Applications Layer, Planning Team 8 and TG3-S43 Broadcast Core Network, and Implementation Team 5 Inter-tower Communications Network.
In addition, working in ATSC PT-8/S43 opened another track of cooperation in the upper layers of the OSI model, where we expanded our contributions to the future Broadcast Core Network, including contributions to the network architecture, IP layer, and network protocols.
Working in ATSC groups is an outstanding opportunity to work with research institutions and companies that make our academic developments aware of the industry and market needs, providing specification inputs that are not always accessible to groups working on purely academic developments.
Finally, ATSC collaborative approach is an invaluable source of knowledge on standardization procedures, best practices, and getting familiar with the transition processes from a research concept to a broadcast market product. We bring this knowledge back to our lectures and seminars, providing a better service to students and PhD candidates.
What projects is the institution participating in with ATSC? Tell us about projects that include other ATSC members or broadcasters.
We are currently working on three main projects directly engaged with ATSC, next-gen TV and the future of terrestrial broadcasting:
IDL/ITCN is an in-band full-duplex solution that uses a portion of the broadcast spectrum to distribute TV programs and data, potentially unrelated to video content, and where the transmission and reception coincide on the same RF band. In particular, we focus on solving two challenges related to ITCN. On the one hand, we are contributing to the characterization of the transmission center from the signal isolation and the propagation channel perspectives. On the other hand, we are developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions that eliminate the self-interference of full-duplex communications and considerably overcome traditional signal processing techniques. We work with ETRI South Korea and CRC Canada on this project and actively collaborate with the ATSC Implementation Team 5 (IT-5).
In the Broadcast Core Network (BCN) area, we are proposing solutions to overcome the challenges related to BCN standardization from two different perspectives. On the one hand, mapping the processes involved in the existing ATSC services into software instances, and on the other hand, studying the existing similarities between those services and solutions already provided under the 5G Core (5GC) umbrella. Our strong relationship with ETRI South Korea and CRC Canada supports this research effort. We are also working to bridge the gap between the current transmission facilities and the prospective Broadcast Core Network. In particular, our lab is involved in the definition of the bcNode. This entity can be integrated into the current ATSC 3.0 facilities and enable connection with the BCN or even the 5G Core. This upgrade will enhance the transmitter’s capabilities, adding some management and configuration functions currently performed in other parts of the system. This work is also an international cooperation project between our research group and the ETRI institute from South Korea.
In the field of 5G Convergence we have an operational 5G deployment at our lab, which provides a private 5G infrastructure as a testbed to showcase and validate potential ATSC 3.0 services in cooperation with 5G infrastructure and services, using standard 5G Core, Access Network as well as 5G terminals. This project is carried out in cooperation with ETRI South Korea and CRC Canada.
Finally, our group is participating in the advanced ATSC 3.0 trials at Humber College in Toronto, Canada, providing the prototypes that will showcase for the first time the possibilities offered by IDL/ITCN. In this trial, our partners are ETRI South Korea and CRC Canada and the Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, who is leading the field trial.
What are the institution’s goals for its work with ATSC 3.0?
Is your work with ATSC 3.0 a team effort? Tell us about the team.
Our work with ATSC 3.0 has been a team effort with Communications Research Centre (CRC) Canada and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) from South Korea. We have been research partners in ATSC related technologies for more than 10 years. We developed together the LDM (Layered Division Multiplexing) technology, one of the unique features of ATSC 3.0. Recently, we have started a cooperation track also with the Humber College in Toronto, who is preparing a field trial to study and showcase novel aspects of ATSC 3.0. One of the new technologies to be tested is IDL/ITCN, and our team is providing the key hardware and software components to bring this concept to the field.
Posted in ATSC News
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.