My doctoral thesis (1993) and Digital Terrestrial Television (20 years later)

(By Rafa Mompó)

This first post is dedicated to Miguel Calvo Ramón “my professor”, from whom I learned his entrepreneurship style for facing new challenges, always innovative, as well as the satisfaction for joining R&D projects together with enterprises. He gave me all the freedom (and all his patience) to explore my professional wishes… but also a place to “come back home” when those adventures finished. I was very lucky.

Now, twenty years later, I hope I can help young enterprising engineers as well at

A beach umbrella, two sons, two nephews, three paipo boards (for the children), a beach chair (for me to watch the children), several bags…. ‘May I buy the newspaper?’ – I asked. No answer, just everybody stopped on their way to the sand, but I could read their minds – ‘ Dad, do you really think you will be managing to read it?’. Nevertheless… I bought it; indeed I have spent all my life tackling the impossible.

A leaflet slid down from inside the newspaper. ‘It is one of those promotions like collect a hundred coupons and get the crockery that princess Letizia uses all Sundays’– I thought. But it was not; you only needed five coupons and 139 € just to get a small and portable digital terrestrial television set. That Sunday Fernando Alonso was going to fight against young Hamilton in an amazing Formula 1 race at Silverstone circuit, and I had already accepted that I was going to miss it! But I thought for a moment that the small 139 € gadget could be the solution; if someone, at that moment, had offered me that small TV, and provided I had been wearing my trousers (the ones that carry my VISA) and not my swimming trunks, I am sure I would have bought it.

Yes, digital television, either fixed and portable (DVB-T) or mobile (DVB-H), is with us. The other day I was in Caracas promoting the DVB standards, and watched a DVB-H demo (the Nokia terminal is really cute). It was amazing; mobile TV (both broadcasting DVB-H or on-demand IPTV) will success, as sure.

Not only is mobile TV going to success but also Terrestrial Digital Television (the DVB-T standard concept, I mean, not the other standards).The simple idea of transforming one’s old television set into a universal service device (for only 30 €) that can bring everybody most of the advantages of current pay-TV television for free, also delights people.

I explained the concept to the taxi driver that took me to Simon Bolivar’s airport. He was delighted. The 29 € that a DVB-T decoder costs also delighted him. Indeed, he would be able to purchase almost two of those low-cost decoders with only the amount of a single to-the-airport service.

By the way, if you are travelling to Caracas I can send you his phone number and he will pick you up at the airport.


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