OMVC to Test Mobile DTV Conditional Access in D.C.
WASHINGTON: Conditional access for mobile digital television
is on deck to be tested in the nation’s capital this fall. The Open Mobile
Video Coalition said it would initiate a model conditional-access system in
Washington to test its efficacy with receivers. A conditional-access scheme is
necessary to do audience measurement and to launch subscription tiers. None of
the three organizations promoting Mobile DTV have revealed their programming
and pricing models, a mix of free and fee-based offerings are expected.
In addition, OMVC said its Neustar-managed Mobile DTV Trust Authority is now
operational and “in discussions with several companies developing new Mobile
DTV products operating with conditional access.” The group said
electronics manufacturers are entering agreements directly with Neustar to
obtain the digital certificates and keys necessary to build secure Mobile DTV
receivers. It did not say which manufacturers were entering these agreements.
OMVC said its Mobile DTV Forum is working to complete
Consumer Electronics Device Profiles for new programming services later this
summer. The profiles are baseline technical guidelines for CE manufacturers on
how broadcasters intend to implement new services, and what inputs are needed for receivers. The forum
includes TV technology companies, consumer electronics firms, and broadcasters.
The OMVC, which represents 900 TV stations, said
Mobile DTV is on track to reach two-thirds of U.S. households by early 2012.
OMVC said 96 stations are now on the air with a ATSC M/H signal, the format
denoting mobile broadcast TV transmission. The total is expected to reach 126
stations in 48 markets by the end of the year, the OMVC’s latest survey said.
Some of those stations belong to the 12 groups in Mobile Content Venture, a
coalition formed at the 2010 NAB Show. MCV recently announced a brand—Dyle—for
its carrier stations belonging to
Belo, Cox, E.W. Scripps Co., Gannett,
Hearst, Media General, Meredith, Post-Newsweek and Raycom. Fox, ION and NBC are
also members of the MCV, which said in July its members would have ATSC M/H on
the air in 32 markets covering half the population by the end of this year.
A third mobile digital TV consortium, the Mobile500 comprises 400 stations not
included in MCV. That coalition intends to launch two or three channels by the
end of this year. Both groups overlap with the OMVC.
Last month, OMVC announced a new predictive model for
reception of UHF Mobile DTV signals, intended to predict signal coverage in
automobiles and for personal viewing. OMVC is also making available recorded
Mobile DTV signals, a new library of content that will help broadcasters and
product developers improve Mobile DTV service and consumer products.
~ Deborah D. McAdams