Harris Corporation Helps Media General Launch Mobile Digital TV Broadcasting

Harris announced that Media General, a leading provider of news, information and entertainment with 18 network-affiliated TV stations, has launched Harris MPH ATSC Mobile DTV systems at its stations in Columbus, Ohio (WCMH-DT), and Tampa, Florida (WFLA-DT).

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.

“Most of our terrestrial transmission properties are Harris, and we like the fact that Harris has been involved in the process of defining the standards and technology since the beginning,” said W. Ardell Hill, president of broadcast services for Media General. “Their experience in mobile and track record as a trusted vendor give us the confidence we need.”

The Harris MPH solution spans the entire mobile delivery chain. The system includes the Harris NetVX video networking system, Synchrony™ mobile networking adapter and Apex M2X exciter, as well as the Roundbox Server for Mobile DTV from Roundbox Inc., which generates service signaling and transmits a rich Electronic Service Guide (ESG). Hill added that Roundbox content support will enhance the viewer experience as the tools and features are further defined.

Media General identified the Columbus and Tampa locations as the ideal 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. Hill noted Media General’s interest in providing additional delivery choices for their viewers locally, with the intention of expanding to additional markets in 2011.

“Mobile DTV allows us to take our content to the consumer where they want to receive it,” said Hill. “The reality is that the consumer has become very mobile, and it’s critical that we continue to deliver news, information, public safety bulletins and local programming to our audience. 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.”