September 2, 2003


Mercedes-Benz introduces in-car digital television in Germany

Stuttgart, Germany – As of October this year, some Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold in Europe will be able to receive digital TV channels while moving. Mercedes-Benz has developed a digital receiver which will be fitted to E, CL, S and SL-Class models. Installation of the equipment requires that vehicles are equipped with the COMAND control and display system as well as the analogue TV tuner currently available. The new digital receiver is connected to the analogue tuner so that car passengers can switch between analogue and digital TV reception as demanded by local transmission circumstances.

The digital TV receiver used by Mercedes-Benz has four aerials and two tuners to guarantee good reception stability, and with its high resistance to impact and interference and immunity to temperature fluctuations has been ideally adapted for in-car operation. The equipment, operated by remote control or from the display, also comes with a teletext facility featuring a 1000-page memory, as well as the Electronic Program Guide (EPG).

The technical principles of digital television have brought about the new broadcasting standard DVB-t (Digital Video Broadcasting-terrestrial), scheduled for introduction throughout the whole of Germany and in some other European countries by 2010. As compared with existing analogue broadcasting technology, this will facilitate much better picture and tone quality, as well as offering an increased range of programmes. In future, in urban conurbations it will be possible to choose from more than 20 free broadcasters.

For reasons of safety, TV reception in the front seat of a Mercedes passenger car is only possible at speeds up to approximately 8 km/h. In excess of this, COMAND automatically fades out the TV picture in order that the driver is not distracted from the traffic situation. A special screen is available for rear-seat passengers in the E and S-Class so that they can enjoy digital television programmes at speeds up to 140 km/h.

Mercedes-Benz will be offering the digital TV receiver a few months after the decision is taken to replace analogue terrestrial TV reception in Germany with the modern digital reception technology. Digital television is already currently being transmitted in Berlin-Brandenburg – with other German states to follow shortly. Some other European countries are also in the process of converting to DVB-t technology.

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