Broadcasters poised to bring first screen to second

Although many broadcasters and vendors at the 2012 NAB Show focused on how best to modify existing workflows to create and deliver content to viewers who go online while watching TV, a new twist on the fledgling Mobile-DTV front looks as if broadcasters may soon be bringing the first screen to the second.

At the Mobile DTV Pavilion on the convention floor, two developments point to how that will get done. First, Mobile-DTV tuner dongles for the Apple iPad reprised their appearance from the 2012 International CES convention and plucked Mobile-DTV signals off air to be displayed on the media tablet. The Belkin and Elgato dongles, which plug into the iPad’s 30-pin dock connector and come with antennas, are expected to reach market in the summer.

Second, Mobile500 Alliance unveiled its consumer-facing interface for Mobile DTV. The interface lets viewers combine first-screen TV viewing with second-screen social interaction. Viewers can read and respond to Twitter comments superimposed over Mobile-TV programming directly on the tablet screen.

Social media integration is just one of several parts of what the Mobile500 Alliance is calling an end-to-end solution for Mobile DTV. Other important pieces of the solution include interactive advertising, audience measurement, conditional access for premium content, closed caption, video recording and VOD.

Colleen Brown, CEO and president of Fisher Communications and chair of the Mobile500 Alliance, said the solution will give broadcasters audience and advertising data that will help them evaluate their investment in Mobile DTV. Like the iPad dongles, the solution from the Mobile500 Alliance will be launched this summer, she said.

On the other side of the Mobile DTV Pavilion, the Mobile Content Venture was showing its Dyle Mobile DTV service on a variety of consumer devices, including the iPad and a new LG Android smartphone with built-in Mobile-DTV tuner.

Erik Moreno, Senior VP, Corporate Development, Fox Networks Group, and co-general manager of MCV, said the new LG Android phone is one of the many important parts of the Mobile-DTV ecosystem that MCV has worked to build. MCV, which is made up of 15 major broadcast groups and networks, is planning to launch Mobile DTV se