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WDIV, WXYZ launch mobile DTV service in Detroit

Two Detroit television stations today officially launched mobile DTV service during a special event sponsored by the Open Mobile Video Coalition.

WDIV, the Post-Newsweek Stations-owned NBC affiliate, and WXYZ, the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate, kicked off their mobile DTV transmissions while car executives attended a seminar about the technology. Besides the presentation, the launch event included an in-vehicle demonstration of mobile DTV devices receiving mobile DTV transmissions from the stations.

Launching mobile DTV service in Detroit is seen as an important step for the success of the new technology because important decisions are made there about the future direction of in-vehicle entertainment and information systems, said OMVC executive director Anne Schelle. “Complementing favorite recorded programs offered on DVD, the addition of mobile DTV to an automobile will mean instantaneous access to local traffic reports, news, developing weather, and of course your passenger's favorite shows,” she said.

Detroit is among the first TV markets to begin transmitting mobile DTV programming. Last week, the Open Mobile Video Coalition officially launched a consumer showcase of the technology in Washington, D.C., to hundreds of area residents who are participating in a four-month trial of specially equipped cell phones, netbooks and other devices.

Marla Drutz, WDIV-TV vice president and general manager, summed up the thoughts of many broadcasters about the new technology. “When mobile DTV consumer devices are widely available, people will be able to take their favorite news, information and entertainment programs with them wherever they go," she said.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.