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As a special format of multiple input multiple output (MIMO), multiple-antenna diversity reception can be used to improve the signal quality of the orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) based digital video broadcasting for handheld (DVB-H) systems. Under multipath fading channels, synchronization methods proposed for the single input single output (SISO) OFDM systems may be to fail if they are directly applied to the multiple-antenna OFDM-based DVB-H receivers. In this paper, a plateau removed maximum likelihood synchronization scheme is proposed for the multiple-antenna OFDM-based DVB-H receivers. Compared to the conventional maximum likelihood multiple antenna OFDM synchronization scheme, the proposed scheme not only removes the timing ambiguity caused by the plateau problem and has better detection capability but also is robust to different multipath fading channels. System performance studies are used to verify the efficiency of the proposed scheme for the multiple-antenna OFDM-based DVB-H receiver under different fading channel situations.