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Technical Papers at IBC2019: Smart Speakers and Regional Contents on DVB-T2

Rai CRITS contributions to the Conference of IBC 2019

The Research and Technological Innovation Center presented two papers at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) held in Amsterdam, the leading international convention along with NAB Show in Las Vegas on broadcasting technologies and new media. Both contributions were presented on Saturday the 14th at the Conference.
Dr. Paolo Casagranda presented an analysis of voice-controlled digital assistants when accessing radio services [1,2]. Smart speakers are currently the most popular devices using voice interaction, and the prototype built for the analysis and the users evaluation focused on them. A number of added-value audio services were assessed, going beyond linear radio streams and podcasts: keyword-based search, similarity search, content-based recommendations, news and segments skip. The prototype leveraged concepts like audio content segmentation (atomized content), automatic metadata extraction, semantic analysis.

Vittoria Mignone presented an original solution, proposed and tested by CRITS, to transmit regional content in a national single frequency network (SFN), through the multi-PLP (Physical Layer Pipe) feature of DVB-T2 [3,4]. According to the proposed solution, in each region the national programs are transmitted in one PLP, while other k PLPs convey the regional contents of a macro-regional SFN, formed by a region and the (k-1) surrounding ones. The DVB Single Illumination System (DVB-SIS) standard can be a valid technical solution to distribute such complex signals to SFN transmitters via satellite or terrestrial contribution links in a cost-effective way. The paper illustrates the configuration applied to the Italian case for the transmission of the twenty-one Regional programs within the national multiplex, guaranteeing the HD quality on Rai1, Rai2 and Rai3.


Both papers were included in the prestigious IET’s Journal “The best of IBC 2019”, an acknowledgement to the 10 best papers of the IBC Conference: it’s the first time two papers from Rai reach this achievement.


[1] Paolo Casagranda, Francesco Russo, Raffaele Teraoni Prioletti: “Evolution of Radio Services in the Era of Voice-Controlled Digital Assistants“, IBC 2019, Amsterdam
[2] IBC Conference Tech Talk: “Hey radio, tell the DJ I’m stuck in traffic”
[3] Vittoria Mignone, Andrea Bertella, Davide Milanesio, Bruno Sacco, Silvio Ripamonti, Michele Visintin: “Regional contents in a national DVB-T2 SFN: a novel approach based on DVB-SIS“, IBC 2019, Amsterdam
[4] IBC Conference Tech Talk: “Good film choice – should be with you next Wednesday”

Paolo Casagranda, Vittoria Mignone
2019 September 30