Mobile DTV Group Prediction: 71 Million Households by Next NAB
LAS VEGAS: Two-thirds of all U.S. TV households will have
access to Mobile DTV within 12 months. That’s what the Open Mobile Video Coalition
said today. The group said the service is on track to reach 71 million
households by next April.
“Between those stations already on-air and those who are coming soon, we
project that Mobile DTV will reach more than 71 million households--or more than
two-thirds of all viewers in America--in the next 12 months,” said Anne
Schelle, OMVC executive director.
According to the OMVC’s signal map
a total of 73 TV stations in 33 markets are now transmitting Mobile DTV
signals. (See “73 Stations Now Transmit Mobile
The OMVC and other mobile digital TV groups are gearing up for the 2011 NAB
Show, kicking off Monday in Las Vegas. Schelle said equipment makers will be
showcasing new receivers for the service at the Mobile DTV Pavilion in the Las
Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall. Among them, the new Valups Tivizen
receiver for the iPhone and the iPad; the Clydle iPhone cradle receiver; and
portable WiFi devices from Crestech. RCA will also have a new line of portable
Mobile DTV sets on hand, and Winegard will display its in-vehicle system.
“We’ll have prototype cell phones from LG Electronics and Samsung as well as
Dell’s prototype netbook computer with built-in Mobile DTV, plus a variety of
USB receivers for laptops on hand from manufacturers such as DTVinteractive,
Hauppauge and Pixtree,” she said.
Broadcasters started seriously considering mobile service as the digital
transition came to a close. The OMVC was formed in 2007, and one of the first
orders of business was getting a transmission standard established. The
Advanced Television Systems Committee did so in
October of 2009
with the adoption of ATSC M/H. The standard made it relatively easy for
broadcasters to add the format to existing operations. WRAL-TV in Raleigh,
N.C., had already become the first station to launch mobile service, going up
on public transportation in April 2009.
Many more launches were predicted through 2009-10, but the wait for a standard
and the absence of receivers, compounded by an regulatory Catch-22, slowed
progress. The deployment of Mobile DTV now appears to be on track. According to
the OMVC’s count, at least 150 stations will be transmitting ATSC M/H signals
by the end of this year.
Mark Richer said OMVC’s 900 member stations are likely to put ATSC M/H signals
to a variety of uses. Richer, president of the ATSC, said the standard supports
“customizable emergency alerts, live audio feeds, datacasting with traffic
maps, sports and news highlights that can be stored in memory on a device, video-on-demand,
time-shifted television, mobile digital video recording, interactive polling,
electronic coupons, 3DTV, targeted advertising, and an electric service guide
for ease of tuning.”
These uses will be on display at the NAB Show, along with “Tweet-TV,” a social
media application for ATSC M/H, he said. The Mobile DTV Pavilion is being
co-hosted by the OMVC, the ATSC and the National Association of Broadcasters.
The Mobile500 Alliance and Mobile Content Venture--two advocacy groups
announced last April--will also have a presence at the Pavilion. The 2011 NAB
Show runs through April 14.
~ Deborah D. McAdams