Independent station group Media General has launched mobile DTV service at two of its stations using transmission technology from Harris. The group, with 18 network-affiliated TV stations, is now using the Harris MPH platform — which is compatible with the ATSC A/153 Mobile DTV standard — at its stations in Columbus, HD (WCMH-DT), and Tampa, FL (WFLA-DT). Channel changing and electronic service guide technology from Roundbox has also been deployed to enhance the viewer experience.
Media General is now broadcasting two ATSC Mobile DTV channels for each of these stations, featuring the main and supplementary terrestrial channels viewed locally over the air. Media General plans to standardize on Harris equipment for all Media General TV stations launching ATSC Mobile DTV services in the future.
Ardell Hill, president of broadcast services for Media General, said most of Media General’s terrestrial stations use Harris technology for all of their digital transmissions. He noted that Media General will provide additional delivery choices for their viewers locally, and will expand Mobile DTV to additional markets in 2011.
“As broadcasters, we are the trusted provider and the credible source of information, and we have a responsibility to gather and deliver that information to consumers on the move,” Hill said
The MPH system now on the air at WCMH-DT and WFLA-DT, includes the Harris NetVX video networking system, Synchrony mobile networking adapter and Apex M2X exciter, as well as a Roundbox server, which generates service signaling and transmits a rich electronic service guide.
Media General said it chose the Columbus and Tampa locations as the initial launch sites for a variety of reasons, including the ability to compare VHF and UHF systems for ATSC Mobile DTV, different terrain challenges and a wealth of local engineering resources.