OMVC reports NRT content offers stations new ways to connect with viewers

News directors and station managers looking for new ways to reach local viewers with the news and information they want have a new tool at their disposal: non-real-time (NRT) content delivery via Mobile DTV.

The concept isn’t new. Equip a receiver with digital memory that can store video and audio viewers pre-select or request on-demand, much like what millions of viewers do today with their DVRs.

What’s new is the technology that will allow local broadcasters to serve up clips viewers subscribe to or request on demand via their Mobile DTV receiver. Finalization of the NRT standard by the Advanced Television Systems Committee paves the way for viewers to watch news, sports, weather, traffic information, financial news and other content streamed to their Mobile DTV receivers over broadcast airwaves.

"Storing programs in memory, clipcasting, digital signage, video-on-demand and micro-websites are ways for the broadcast industry to improve the array of services provided to users of Mobile TV,” said Sterling Davis, chairman of the OMVC's Technical Advisory Group (OTAG).

This week the Open Mobile Video Coalition released a new report to show broadcasters how they can take advantage of NRT content to better serve their audiences. The report lays out several news-related use cases as well as other non-news uses of NRT content, such as digital signage.

NRT applications for news-related uses include Mobile Emergency Alert System communications, offering rich-media enhancements, video on demand, micro-websites and clipcasting.

According to the report, clipcasting consists of short-form video and audio clips similar to podcasts. They are broadcast periodically by a television broadcaster and captured by a consumer’s device. Viewers can choose to receive clipcast content on topics of interest, such as sports action. Clips are tagged with a title and metadata information so viewers can quickly access clips they wish to watch. Both advertising- and subscription-based business models are supported by the standard.

In a micro-website application, Mobile DTV can deliver data used by micro-Webpages that are available on a portable MDTV device. By leveraging NRT, data for the pages is delivered over the air to the microsite without needing traditional Internet connectivity.

"This [support for NRT content] is a natural evolution of the Mobile TV standard," said Davis.