Mobile DTV Alliance to Encompass Emerging U.S. Mobile Standard

The Mobile DTV Alliance said it’s expanding its charter to include the developing transmission standards in North America. The Alliance will include the standard from the Advanced Television System Committee--ATSC-M/H--in its implementation guidelines.

Key aspects of the guidelines cover the development of an interoperable technical foundation; support for multiple broadcast systems under a consistent service layer and increased content protection options using Microsoft technology. (Alliance members include Nokia, Microsoft and Disney.)

MDTVA formed around DVB-H, the European mobile television transmission standard derived from the terrestrial one based on orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, or OFDM. Several technologies are being considered by the ATSC, which established the U.S. terrestrial standard on eight-level vestigial sideband transmission. China has developed its own proprietary DTV standard and is working on a mobile subset as well.

The three formats require different chipsets for reception, so TVs that receive over-the-air signals in the United States are unlikely to do so overseas. However, it’s uncommon for people to travel with televisions. Mobile devices comprise a different kettle of fish.

The MDTVA said it would work on interoperable service layer guidelines accommodating DVB-H as well as whatever the ATSC adopts.

The proposed standards under consideration at the ATSC include MPH (Mobile Pedestrian Handheld) from LG and Harris; A-VSB (advanced-vestigial sideband) from Rohde & Schwarz and Samsung. Both were demoed last year at NAB. Micronas Semiconductor also has a hat in the ring and is considered by many to be a possible dark horse in the race to provide the standard. Principals at Micronas were involved in the development of China’s DTV transmission standard.

MDTVA is among the handful of other companies and coalitions that have submitted proposals.