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More on Mobile TV…
1/8/2009

The Open Mobile Video Coalition is unveiling its mobile DTV strategy today in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show. The coalition will announce which broadcasters plan to roll out mobile DTV this year. The initial offering will include eight channels of real-time, over-the-air content.

LG and Kenwood will demo handheld and in-car devices. LG's include an ATSC mobile DTV MP3 player with a three-inch touch screeen; a 7-inch swivel-screen DVD player with an integrated ATSC tuner; a DTV-enabled mobile phone with a three-inch screen and electronic program guide; another mobile phone with a dual-touch screen and a USB dongle receiver for laptops. 

Harris, Roundbox, Triveni Digital and TV Guide have created the mobile DTV transmission system. Hyundai Motors, NBC, Samsung, LG, Kenwood and others are demonstrating the service in their various exhibits.

The OMVC comprises 800 broadcasters intent on launching mobile DTV in time for the Feb. 17 analog shutdown (if it happens). The transmission standard for the service was adopted by the Advanced Television Systems Committee in early December.

Meanwhile, established mobile TV platforms continue to make headway. MobiTV, the first mobile TV content provider out of the gate, just picked up CBS fare in the way of “CSI,” “Numb3rs,” “CSI: NY,” “The Young and the Restless,” as well as sports news and comedy clips.

Mobi supplies cell phone TV to Sprint, AT&T and Alltel customers in the United States and various other carriers in Canada. The U.S. service has a 40-channel offering that includes NBC, ABC, ESPN and Discovery in addition now to CBS. Mobi reaches about 5 million subscribers worldwide on around 350 enabled cell phones.

MediaFLO, the mobile TV technology from Qualcomm used by Verizon for Vcast, has now been tapped by Audiovox for in-vehicle video systems. Audiovox (NASDAQ: VOXX) of Hauppauge, N.Y., will start making FLO-enabled video systems for cars to be sold through its established distribution channels. VOXX is demoing its rolling TV technology at CES as well.

At MacWorld in San Francisco, where Apple chief Steve Jobs did not deliver the keynote speech, Sling Media rolled out a version of its place-shifter for the iPhone. Sling Media makes the box that connects a remote PC to a person’s home TV service. SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone will be delivered to Apple for certification during 1Q. A prototype HD Sling player for Apple laptops and desktops was also demonstrated at the show in San Fran.

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