Delphi has been awarded a contract by DaimlerChrysler to supply what it describes as an advanced mobile television reception system for passenger cars. The hybrid reception system is capable of receiving both digital and analogue television signals, automatically switching from one to the other without any changes in system settings by the viewer.

Delphi's Digital/Analogue Mobile TV Reception System is described by Delphi as a "high-end" design that provides near-DVD picture quality with stereo sound and DSP audio processing. Delphi says the system provides a steady picture even while travelling.

Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), a pan-European consortium with a large number of international member organisations, is coordinating the drive towards digital TV. The DVB technical standard for terrestrial television (DVB-T) is one of a number of standards that also include satellite transmission (DVB-S), cable transmission (DVB-C) and uplinks for services such as digital satellite newsgathering.

Most countries in Europe, and many worldwide, are committed to switching off existing analogue transmissions and replacing them with DVB transmissions. DVB-T is already transmitted alongside analogue signals in the UK, Spain, Sweden, Finland and parts of Germany, with France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway will be introducing the service during 2004. The first analogue transmitters to be switched off will be in Berlin, Germany, in September this year.

"This presents a challenge for vehicle manufacturers as mobile TV reception systems must be able to function throughout Europe, moving seamlessly from analogue to digital and back without any intervention by the user. We started working on a solution more than three years ago, giving us a significant lead in the market," said Michael Heise, Delphi Delco Electronics Systems product line manager for antennas and TV systems.

DaimlerChrysler also awarded Delphi a contract for a highly integrated Delphi Fuba reception antenna system that includes arrays to receive digital and analogue TV signals as well as radio and remote keyless entry signals. Engineering and vehicle integration will take place at Delphi's dedicated Fuba reception systems laboratories in Bad Salzdetfurth, Germany.

The Delphi Fuba Reception Systems business, is expected by Delphi to grow by twenty percent annually through to 2005 and is part of Delphi's mobile multimedia and telematics capability. "We have a complete portfolio in this sector including industry-leading vehicle integration expertise," adds Heise. "With our open systems strategy, vehicle manufacturers can quickly integrate the capability they need to give them a competitive advantage and can adapt their offerings as technologies and market requirements change."