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Bright Future for Mobile DTV Predicted

Researching this week's RF Report I came across several articles and research reports indicating a high level of interest in Mobile DTV. RNCOS Research announced China's Mobile TV Market Showing Incredible Growth, saying "Since mobile TV's launch in China in 2004, the market has experienced an explorative development period and in future also, it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 51 percent till 2013." The data is from their Global Mobile TV Forecast to 2013. The study lists eight potential Mobile DTV growth areas, including Mobile DTV broadcasters and car mobile TV. Market restraints include spectrum availability, infrastructure cost, content, and handset availability, as well as service pricing and competing standards. In the United States ATSC Mobile DTV rates well in most of these areas.

Michael Humphrey, writing on Forbes web site, asks As FLO Dies, Is Mobile TV Buried With It? MobiTV Says Watch This.

MobiTV, as you may recall from CES announcements, is working with broadcasters' Mobile Content Venture (MCV) to bring over-the-air mobile DTV to handheld devices.

Charlie Nooney, the CEO of MobiTV, pointed to mobile viewers watching millions of hours of TV on their Internet-based platform. Michael Humphrey agreed, saying "I think he's right. There's just one simple rule about television watching on any platform: it has to not suck. Blotchy, every third word heard, frozen … that sucks. Nothing good to watch … sucks. Get away from that and people will watch TV for one simple reason: We are addicted. You could put Archer on a piece of moldy bread, and if the picture is half decent, I'm watching."

MobiTV said viewership was up 59 percent from 2009 to 2010. Unfortunately, broadcast Mobile DTV isn't mentioned in this article.

The Consumer Electronics Association's Vision magazine has an article that focuses only on broadcast mobile DTV. The article, Mobile DTV – Ready for (the new) prime time by Gary Arlen starts with a description of the trip that Sinclair's Mark Aitken and Acrodyne's Bill Soreth made up Black Mountain at night to switch on Mobile DTV in Las Vegas the night before CES, and follows with quotes from other broadcasters and manufacturers on the future of Mobile DTV.

Dr. Jong-Kim, LG, says, "We believe that this is a long-term investment that will pay off for device manufacturers who will sell more products and for broadcasters who will attract more viewers."

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.