Digital Video Broadcasting - Cable (DVB-C) is the DVB European consortium standard for the broadcast transmission of digital television over cable. This system transmits an MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 family digital audio/digital video stream, using a QAM modulation with channel coding. The standard was first published by the ETSI in 1994, and subsequently became the most widely used transmission system for digital cable television in Europe, Asia and South America.[1] It is deployed worldwide in systems ranging from the larger cable television networks (CATV) down to smaller satellite master antenna TV (SMATV) systems.

Technical description

DVB-C transmitter

Scheme of a DVB-C transmission system
Scheme of a DVB-C transmission system

With reference to the figure, a short description of the single processing blocks follows.

Available bit rates for a DVB-C system (Mbit/s)
Modulation Bandwidth (MHz)
2 4 6 8 10
16-QAM 6.41 12.82 19.23 25.64 32.05
32-QAM 8.01 16.03 24.04 32.05 40.07
64-QAM 9.62 19.23 28.85 38.47 48.08
128-QAM 11.22 22.44 33.66 44.88 56.10
256-QAM 12.82 25.64 38.47 51.29 64.11

DVB-C receiver

The receiving STB adopts techniques which are dual to those ones used in the transmission.


On February 18, 2008 it was announced that a new standard – DVB-C2 – would be developed during 2008, and a "Call for Technologies" was issued.[2] Proposals including simulation programs and information on patent rights could be submitted until June 16, 2008.

"The results of the DVB-C2 Study Mission already provided clear indications that technologies are available allowing the performance of the second generation DVB cable transmission system to get so close to the theoretical Shannon Limit that any further improvements in the future would most likely not be able to justify the introduction of a disruptive third generation of cable transmission system." (DVB-C2 CfT)

By using state of the art coding and modulation techniques, DVB-C2 should offer greater than 30% higher spectrum efficiency under the same conditions, and the gains in downstream channel capacity will be greater than 60% for optimized HFC networks.

The final DVB-C2 specification was approved by the DVB Steering Board in April 2009.

DVB-C2 allows bit rates up to 83.1 Mbit/s on an 8 MHz channel bandwidth when using 4096-QAM modulation; future extensions will allow up to 97 Mbit/s and 110.8 Mbit/s per channel using 16384-QAM and 65536-AQAM modulation.[3]

Modes and features of DVB-C2 in comparison to DVB-C:

Input Interface Single Transport Stream (TS) Multiple Transport Stream and Generic Stream Encapsulation (GSE)
Modes Constant Coding & Modulation Variable Coding & Modulation and Adaptive Coding & Modulation
FEC Reed Solomon (RS) LDPC + BCH 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 3/5, 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 8/9, 9/10[4]
Modulation Single Carrier QAM absolute OFDM[5]
Modulation Schemes 16- to 256-QAM 16- to 4096-QAM
Guard Interval Not Applicable 1/64 or 1/128
Inverse Fast Fourier transform (IFFT) size Not Applicable 4k[6]
Interleaving Bit-Interleaving Bit- Time- and Frequency-Interleaving
Pilots Not Applicable Scattered and Continual Pilots

Countries that use DVB-C

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (January 2022)

See also


  1. ^ "DVB-C will surpass US´ cable technologies in 2013 in Latin America". NexTV Latam. 2019-02-22. Archived from the original on 2019-02-23. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  2. ^ "Second Generation Transmission Technologies for Cable Networks. Call for Technologies" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  3. ^ Dr. Dirk Jaeger (2010-09-02). "DVB-C2 Gets Reality - Facts and Figures on a New Transmission Approach". 8th Broadband Technology Conference, Gdynia. ReDeSign Project. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20.
  4. ^ "ETSI EN 302 769 V1.3.1. Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Frame structure channel coding and modulation for a second generation digital transmission system for cable systems (DVB-C2)" (PDF). DVB consortium. 2015-10-01.
  5. ^ "ETSI TS 102 991 V1.3.1. Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Implementation Guidelines for a second generation digital cable transmission system (DVB-C2)" (PDF). DVB consortium. 2016-01-01.
  6. ^ "DVB-C2 The second generation transmission technology for broadband cable" (PDF). Dirk Jaeger, Philipp Hasse, Joerg Robert, Institut fuer Nachrichtentechnik at Technische Universitaet Braunschweig. 2009-04-08. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2013-01-24.