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01.23.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
President Bush looks good in HDTV… and via cell phone

More than ever before, U.S. viewers were hard-pressed to find an excuse to miss President Bush’s State of the Union address last week. Thanks to new technologies, the speech was available live on multiple media delivery platforms, from widescreen HDTV sets to miniature cell phones. That’s in addition to conventional analog television, which attracted the most viewers



ABC provided simultaneous standard and high-definition pool feeds to the major TV networks for last week’s live State of the Union address, using Thomson Grass Valley LDK 6000 mkII WorldCam HD cameras operating in the 720p mode.

ABC provided simultaneous standard and high-definition pool feeds to the major TV networks for last week’s live State of the Union address, using Thomson Grass Valley LDK 6000 mkII WorldCam HD cameras operating in the 720p mode; ABC’s preferred format.

Managed on-site by Mike Strein, assistant director, Technology and Strategic Planning at ABC TV, the 720p ABC feed (in the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio) was transmitted from Washington D.C. via satellite back to ABC headquarters in New York for live broadcast. NBC and CBS received the feed via satellite at their respective facilities and converted to their preferred 1080i format for broadcast over their network of stations.

Fox took the 720p feed and converted it to 480i widescreen at their digital plant in Los Angeles. Japanese broadcaster NHK had a truck on-site, which took the 720p feed and converted it to 1080i for its national audience and other international satellite broadcasters.

This years’ State of the Union broadcast also had a streaming media technology component to it. MobiTV, a provider of live television content streamed to mobile telephones, transmitted live television coverage of the speech to compliant cell phones.

Launched in November 2003, MobiTV was developed by a company called Idetic and is available to owners of select Sprint PCS Vision phones as a J2ME download. Sprint PCS Vision subscribers pay about $10 per month to receive MobiTV-streamed television channels, such as ABC News Live, MSNBC, CNBC, Discovery Channel, College Sports Television and The Learning Channel. As of the end of September 2003, there were about 2.7 million PCS Vision subscribers; however, far fewer actually subscribe to the streaming television service.

For more information, please visit: www.mobitv.com.

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