Capitalizing on opening-day buzz at CES 2009, the Open Mobile Video Coalition gave the new ATSC mobile DTV candidate standard a gala debut worthy of a Hollywood star, which it may be when CES 2010 rolls around.
The comprehensive show demonstrated both viewer experience and technical feasibility. Via prototype ATSC-compliant devices from LG, Samsung, Visteon and Kenwood, viewers could take in live simulcasts from several local Las Vegas stations as well as FOX News, CNBC, Cool Music Network and the qubo Channel. Broadcasters could look under the hood of a complete headend mobile DTV system from Harris, Roundbox, Triveni Digital and TV Guide.
ATSC mobile not only supports over-the-air digital broadcast to the usual suspects — cell phones, laptop computers, handheld PDAs, portable media players, gaming devices, etc. — it's also aiming for in-car entertainment, opening up new business opportunities for in-vehicle entertainment systems as well as enhanced GPS systems.
The OMVC also announced the first wave of broadcasters signing up to launch broadcast mobile TV services this year — 63 stations in 22 markets, covering 35 percent of U.S. households. Of the 63 stations, affiliates break along 14 for NBC, nine for ABC, nine for CBS, five for FOX, nine for ION Television, four for CW and four for MyNetworkTV. Nine more PBS stations are talking with the OMVC to join in the 2009 launch.
Many say that, equipped with the new ATSC mobile TV standards, broadcasters are well-positioned to lead the next generation of mobile TV. “Mobile DTV will expand the reach of our content, provide consumers with more flexibility in how they access news, sports and entertainment programming, and open the door to a new world of possibilities for our advertisers,” said John Eck, OMVC executive committee member and president of NBC TV Network and Media Works.
One reason is that they already have the infrastructure and content in place. “For a relatively small capital outlay, broadcasters can upgrade their existing transmission infrastructure to offer multiple channels of entertainment, news and public affairs programming. This truly marks a new day in mobile broadcasting,” said Vince Sadusky, LIN TV president and CEO.
In the next few months, the OMVC will conduct interoperability tests and field trials in markets across the U.S. The OMVC and ATSC plan to complete a proposal for the final standard by mid-2009.
For information, visit www.omvc.org.
Watch the OMVC's “Never Miss a Minute” video at www.ionshowcase.com/new/objects/player/mediaPlayer.php?&a=2676&b=274 and click on OMVC: CES in upper left corner.
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