Mobile DTV technology demonstrated at OMVC breakfast

This morning at the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) breakfast, broadcasters gathered to talk mobile DTV.

It was just two years ago that the OMVC formed. Today, it consists of 800 commercial and noncommercial stations, all working together to make mobile DTV a reality in the United States.

David Rehr, NAB president, gave the opening remarks, and he asked the audience to "imagine the possibilities, because they're here."

Next, the OMVC held a panel discussion led by Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman. The panel included David Rehr, NAB; Brandon Burgess, ION Media Networks; John Eck, NBC Universal; Dave Lougee, Gannett Broadcasting; Colleen Brown, Fisher Communications; Bob Rast, LG Electronics; and John Godfrey, Samsung.

Liz opened the panel holding an LG Maize mobile device on which she was able to watch Fox news and programming live. Just one year ago, there was still talk about a standard for mobile TV, but it was great to see the technology working this time around.

The OMVC made a major announcement that mobile DTV will be rolled out in Washington, D.C., first, and then in Atlanta and Seattle. Those markets will be established as the first offering mobile DTV services. In addition, 70 other TV stations have signed on to deliver live TV broadcasts in 28 markets by the end of 2009.

One topic discussed by the panel was the ROI of mobile DTV. NBC's John Eck said "These are tough times, so we're making sure that ROI is really high."

Samsung's John Godfrey said "the standard supports interactivity. [This can] open the door for new businesses for broadcasters."

It'll be interesting to see mobile TV's growth as consumer trials in Washington, D.C., progress. The consumer trial will go live in D.C. this summer, enabling broadcasters to show and test programming, services and features of mobile DTV technology. The trial will help prepare other broadcasters who plan to deploy mobile DTV technology later this year.

Check out this video from the breakfast.