Roundbox’s Mobile DTV Widgets marry mobile TV, Web

At NAB2009, Roundbox showed its Mobile DTV Widgets, which unite the mobile TV and mobile Web experiences. Broadcasters can leverage all their content regardless of where or what it is. And they can give viewers an intuitive, seamless interface that connects them to what they want to watch without any need to know where content is and in what form.

"One of the objectives of our company is to take advantage of the [mobile TV] medium, not just repurpose fixed-TV programming," said Vinod Valloppillil, Roundbox VP of product marketing. "Mobile DTV Widgets take content from, for example, a Web page and distribute it over the broadcast network. Operators can leverage existing content from Web sites and fan sites. Customers get that Web-like, on-demand content experience."

Because mobile DTV is IP over broadcast, you can do more, Valloppillil said. Simulcast linear TV is just one of many content types that can be transported over IP. The typical mobile DTV receiver is far more capable than traditional TV because it has a CPU, storage, a keypad and a return channel, so it delivers a significant new opportunity for broadcasters to use mobile DTV to transport data.

Roundbox's Mobile DTV Widgets are based on the ATSC-NRT (non-real time) standard and distributes files rather than audio/video streams. Content is downloaded and processed locally on the device to deliver a more interactive Web-like experience delivered over broadcast.

As a new distribution vehicle for broadcaster Web content and a new data service right on the broadcasters’ home turf, any broadcaster can become a mini information portal. A stationcentric experience has the potential to promote brand awareness and stickiness by being accessible to consumers outside 24-hour linear TV constraints with random access, on-demand content. This model also leverages cost, distribution and the battery advantages of broadcast relative to 3G/4G.

While TV transmissions focus on delivering streams, Mobile DTV Widgets leverage datacasting technology to deliver on-demand access to video clips, news, weather, sports, traffic and emergency alerts over a broadcast network. Because they leverage popular Web standards, broadcasters with Web assets can immediately use Mobile DTV Widgets to reach new audiences and generate new advertising and Web link revenue.

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