Broadcasters in the United States will need to move quickly to get mobile DTV (MDTV) signals on the air before receivers start showing up on store shelves. At the NAB Show this week, it was announced that a dozen broadcasters have joined together to provide the stations and spectrum needed to provide MDTV to150 million U.S. residents. The national MDTV service is called "Pearl Mobile DTV Company LLC" and includes Belo, Cox, Fox, Gannett Broadcasting, Scripps, Hearst Television, ION Television, Media General Inc., Meredith Corp., NBC, Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media.
The size of group will allow it to generate interest and investment in MDTV from investors, wireless carriers, receiver manufacturers, retailers, programmers and advertisers.
Many markets will have several Pearl stations. This will make it easier and less expensive for the group-- and potentially other broadcasters that want to join in--to lease the sites and offer the repeaters needed to provide reliable MDTV service in the "urban canyons" and along major highways and perhaps even railroads used by passenger trains.
The formation of this group should do much to ensure MDTV will be a success – first in getting enough MDTV channels on the air to provide a market for receiver manufacturers and second, in providing the programming, business models and expertise to provide an enhanced MDTV experience along with reliable MDTV reception.
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.
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