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ATSC launches mobile TV standards development

On April 9, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) threw its hat into the mobile TV broadcast ring with word that it has begun developing ATSC-M/H, an ATSC-backwards-compatible transmission system to reach viewers on the move via broadcast DTV transmissions.

The ATSC move comes on the heels of an early April announcement from Harris and LG Electronics of their own ATSC-backwards-compatible mobile in-band digital TV system called MPH and Samsung’s public demonstration in January of another backwards-compatible mobile TV system, Advanced-VSB.

With ATSC-M/H broadcasters can use "their DTV broadcast channels to provide new services directly to small hand-held receivers, laptop computers and vehicles moving at a high rate of speed,” said ATSC president Mark Richer.

According to Richer, ATSC-M/H will be backwards compatible with existing ATSC services and will not adversely affect existing receiving equipment. As envisioned, the new standard will support advertiser-supported television and interactive services delivered in real-time, as well as subscription-based TV, and non-real-time content download for playback at a later time. It could also be used for transmission of data services, such as real-time navigation data for in-vehicle use.

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