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International Journal of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting
Volume 2009, Article ID 614178, 10 pages
Research Article

AL-FEC for Improved Mobile Reception of MPEG-2 DVB-T Transport Streams

1Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV), Mobile Communications Group, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2QUALCOMM Incorporated, Santa Clara, CA 95051, USA

Received 28 February 2009; Accepted 16 July 2009

Academic Editor: Sandro Scalise

Copyright © 2009 David Gozálvez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigate the use of application layer FEC protection in DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial) networks for the provision of mobile services. Mobile reception is characterized by variations of the received signal caused by fast fading and shadowing. DVB-T was originally designed for fixed and portable reception, and generally does not provide enough quality in mobile environments. The link layer protection mechanism MPE-FEC (Multi Protocol Encapsulation-Forward Error Correction) was standardized in DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld) for the protection of mobile TV services. Although DVB-T itself does not incorporate any link or application layer protection mechanism, AL-FEC (Application layer Forward Error Correction) protection can be introduced in DVB-T in a backwards compatible way. By means of AL-FEC, it is possible to improve the robustness of DVB-T services for the provision of mobile TV. In this paper, we explain the concept of AL-FEC protection in DVB-T and evaluate its performance by means of laboratory measurements and dynamic simulations with shadowing. We study different configurations of AL-FEC and compare its performance with MPE-FEC. In this paper, we discuss some implementation aspects of AL-FEC in real scenarios and propose an implementation based on Raptor codes and hash sequences. We also present results obtained by a first AL-FEC prototype for DVB-T that demonstrates the feasibility of the approach.