WASHINGTON: After two years and five months in
development, the mobile DTV standard had been approved. The Advanced Television
Systems Committee said today it has approved the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard,
A/153. The ballot, tallied at midnight Oct. 15, was approved with overwhelming
support by the full ATSC membership.
“Development and adoption of the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard is a major milestone
in the ongoing evolution of digital television,” ATSC President Mark Richer
said “We have been fortunate to have strong and active industry support,
including thousands of person-hours of technical volunteers, for this work
which enabled us to develop the standard in an efficient manner.”
A/153, also known as ATSC M/H, defines the technical specifications necessary
for broadcasters to provide new services to mobile and handheld devices using
their digital television transmissions. The new services for mobile and
handheld devices are carried along with current DTV services without any
adverse impact on legacy receiving equipment.
ATSC M/H supports a variety of services, including advertiser-supported
television, real-time interactive media, subscription-based TV, and file-based
content download. The standard can also be used for transmission of new data
broadcasting services. It will give broadcasting access to the mobile video
arena of cell phones, small handheld DTVs, laptop computers and in-vehicle
Stations across the country began field testing ATSC M/H earlier this year.
Some 33 are expected to be transmitting the mobile format by the end of this
month, though many lack the prototype handhelds necessary to test reception.
LG, Samsung, Kenwood and Dell are the lead manufacturers for A/153-compatible devices.
Receivers ready for prime time are expected to be on display at the Consumer
Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA, said, “As a founding ATSC member,
CEA congratulates ATSC on achieving this new standard, which will help
chipmakers and equipment manufacturers proceed with product development and
ATSC M/H is based on vestigial sideband modulation, with enhanced error
correction and other techniques to improve robustness and reduce power consumption
in portable receivers, coupled with a flexible and extensible IP-based
transport system, MPEG AVC video, and HE AAC v2 audio coding. It will carry
existing digital broadcast channels in addition to new services such as
interactive TV, available on broadband-enabled ATSC M/H receivers.
Paul Karpowicz, NAB Television Board chairman and president of Meredith
Broadcast Group had this to say: “This will introduce the power of local
broadcasting to a new generation of viewers and provide all-important emergency
alert, local news and other programming to consumers across the nation.”
Glenn Reitmeier, ATSC chairman:: “It is particularly noteworthy that ATSC
Mobile utilizes Internet Protocol, which will enable broadcast services to be
easily integrated with wireless broadband consumer devices and applications,
further reinforcing the significant role of terrestrial television broadcasting
in the media landscape for decades to come.”
From Dennis Wharton of the NAB: “We strongly believe that all Americans will
benefit from the advanced capabilities of mobile DTV and broadcasters’
innovative use of over-the-air spectrum.”
The new standard document will be available online on the ATSC Standards page.
More on mobile TV:
October 7, 2009: “Wireless Carriers Build Mobile TV as Broadcasters Prepare for Launch”
Verizon Wireless has 87.7 million subscribers; though it
doesn’t provide numbers on how many handsets are VCast-enabled and how many of
those have activated subscriptions. The service is one of the first mobile TV
offerings to go live in the United States after the roll-out of the originator,
October 7, 2009: “Qualcomm Rolls out
Handheld FLO TV”
Qualcomm unveiled its handheld FLO TV this week, in time for the holiday
September 3, 2009: “Gray Conducts Successful
Mobile DTV Tests”
Gray Television commenced its first successful mobile DTV signal at
WOWT-TV, its NBC affiliate in Omaha, Nebr., on July 24.
August 26, 2009: “Free Analog Mobile TV
Bode Well for Digital Version”
The global uptake of free analog mobile TV is a good sign that the digital
iteration will be successful.
June 29, 2009: “More on Mobile from
Korean wireless carriers said that some 22 million people are using mobile
television in the country, according to The
Korea Times. The population of South Korea is estimated at a
little less than 48.4 million.
April 20, 2009: “NAB: Broadcasters
Target D.C. for Mobile TV Consumer Trials”
The Open Mobile Video Coalition said Washington, D.C. has been selected as
a product showcase market for Mobile DTV technology.
April 20, 2009: “City of Raleigh
Initiates First Public Mobile DTV Deployment”
Officials in this Tech Triangle corridor city teamed up with WRAL-TV for
the first public deployment of mobile DTV.
March 20, 2009: “Mobile DTV Poised for
Rising Revenue Wave”
Mobile advertising revenues will hit $3.1 billion in 2013, up from $160
million last year, according to research from The Kelsey Group, a division of
February 17, 2009: “MobiTV Tops 6 Million
MobiTV announced today at the Mobile World Congress event, being held in
Barcelona, Spain, that it had surpassed the six million mark in subscribers for
its managed mobile media services.
January 12, 2009: “Mobile DTV to Launch in 22 Markets Immediately”
Sixty-three TV stations across the country will launch mobile TV this year,
the Open Mobile Video Coalition announced in Las Vegas during the Consumer
Electronics Show there.