City of Raleigh Initiates First Public Mobile DTV Deployment

RALEIGH, N.C.: Officials in this Tech Triangle corridor city teamed up with WRAL-TV for the first public deployment of mobile DTV. Capital Area Transit buses will now feature real-time broadcast television. At least one bus had been converted into a rolling TV receiver as of today.

“If you lose power at home, your antenna’s not working [or] the cable is out, just take the bus,” said Jim Goodmon, chief of WRAL parent Capitol Broadcasting, by way of “High-definition is just wonderful, and now we’ve added mobile to it, which just makes this whole digital transition really consumer friendly.”

Four more buses will be outfitted with TV reception for the pilot period running through August, WRAL said. Another 20 buses will be similarly equipped from September through August 2010.

The mobile DTV feed will include a simulcast of WRAL programming, as well as local Doppler radar images, a seven-day forecast and space for advertising and CAT news.

LG Electronics provided receivers and monitors; Harris, the mobile transmission gear, digital signage systems and support services. Microspace Communications Corp., also owned by Capitol Broadcasting, provided the wireless networking and digital signage system management. Digital Recorders of Durham is integrating the communications systems on the CAT buses.

“Television on buses, that is really something,” WRAL quoted Mayor Charles Meeker saying. “We’re looking forward to something that will be a first in the Capital City, something that will be a service to our citizens. It's also something that resonates with the high-tech nature of this area.” -- Deborah D. McAdams

 (Above: Capitol Broadcasting chief Jim Goodmon and Raleigh Mayor Charler Meeker watch broadcast TV on a bus. Top Right: Riders on the inaugural mobile DTV CAT route.)