ATSC Receives 10 Proposals for Mobile-Handheld TV Standard

The Advanced Television Systems Committee has received 10 submissions in response to its request for proposals for its Mobile and Handheld Standard (ATSC-M/H).

Last month the ATSC issued an RFP for the standard, which is designed to send broadcasters’ over-the-air DTV signals to portable devices. The RFP came after two competing mobile DTV formats were promoted at NAB2007--A-VSB, a proposed standard jointly developed by Samsung and Rohde & Schwarz; and MPH, which is being promoted by LG Electronics and Harris Corp. Both standards were among the 10 proposals submitted to the ATSC. The other eight include:

  • Coding Technologies
  • Coherent Logix Inc.
  • DTS Inc.
  • Mobile DTV Alliance
  • Micronas Semiconductor Inc.
  • Nokia Inc.
  • Thomson
  • Qualcomm

“It is exhilarating to see this amount of interest from the industry,” said ATSC President Mark Richer. “We look forward to reviewing all of the submitted proposals for the ATSC-M/H standard.”

Richer says that the ATSC would like to have such a standard in place as soon as possible to facilitate the development of equipment for this service. According to Richer, a number of companies are interested in having mobile/handheld devices ready for the marketplace to coincide with the initiation of digital-only TV broadcasting in February 2009. He noted that recent interest in mobile and handheld television has begun to attract new members into the ATSC, including automobile manufacturer General Motors, and Delphi, a leading auto electronic equipment supplier.

In a related development this week, the Open Mobile Video Coalition, a group of television broadcasters interested in promoting over-the-air mobile TV services, drafted an open letter to equipment manufacturers, urging them to participate in the on-going mobile television standardization process begun by the ATSC.

The letter states that members of the Open Mobile Video Coalition fully support the ATSC push for developing a backwardly compatible standard for mobile and handheld television reception. The coalition also stressed cooperation among all players to avoid another “format war” situation, citing AM stereo, Betamax and VHS and most recently, the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD contest for acceptance.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition was formed by Belo Corp., Fox Television Stations, Gannett Broadcasting, Gray Television, ION Media Networks, NBC and Telemundo Television Stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Broadcasting Co. Together, these groups own and operate more than 280 television stations reaching 95 million homes.