Originally featured on
Apr 21

Written by:
4/21/2009 6:31 AM  RssIcon

harris-roundbox-esg_grid-200.jpgIn March Harris (N2502) and Roundbox signed an OEM agreement to deliver a complete mobile broadcast solution for U.S. terrestrial DTV broadcasters. Under the agreement, Roundbox will be integrated into the Harris ATSC Mobile DTV broadcast system, offering operators a full-featured broadcast mobile TV solution that can be deployed immediately.

For broadcasters wanting to implement OTA to mobile television, the operative phrase is “free” to the viewer. Harris director of business development for mobile TV, Paul Anderson agreed saying, “DVB-H was touted as the next big thing, but it hasn't done very well because it's a subscription model. Compare that with the [high] popularity of mobile TV in Brazil and Japan with ISDB-T, and DMB in Korea. We think 'free' is the operative word."

What Roundbox brings to the mobile TV party is an electronic program guide. The Roundbox component gives MPH a very user-friendly experience, "It's intuitively obvious that user satisfaction is dependent on being able to find what they want — and conversely, the biggest frustration is not being able to find what you want. [The Electronic Service Guide (ESG)] makes viewers' access to programming a little sexier, and it allows the broadcaster to have more say about what they're doing on the channel", said Anderson.

The system also lets operators deliver non-real-time services to mobile TV-equipped devices. It extends broadcasters' reach to mobile devices and expands their services portfolio beyond linear television to data, text and video clips. For example, broadcasters can display a blurb about each show, icons of other shows, breaking news, links to the broadcaster's website and links for more information about a show, such as where viewers can buy items from a show.

"Roundbox's ESG has the ability to do other types of ads, and makes it easy for viewers to buy. You can now tell advertisers that you can do more than just show a commercial, [by] combining Nielsen ratings and Internet click counts."

Company officials say that their research shows that the hours someone spends viewing TV on a mobile phone are incrementally new hours of watching. That is a key component to broadcasters concerned about cannibalizing their OTA services. Said Anderson, we think you can make money with this.

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