Broadcasters push tech companies to adopt single mobile TV standard

The Open Mobile Video Coalition is seeking to avoid a mobile TV technology format war in U.S.

Nine broadcast groups comprising the Open Mobile Video Coalition have issued an open letter to technology companies within the industry urging them to adopt a single standard for digital TV signals to be received on cell phones, PDAs and other mobile devices. The move was made to help speed the development and adoption of mobile broadcast TV in the United States.

The group said the current terrestrial digital TV system (ATSC) was incapable of being received in mobile environments, because it was designed to maximize broadcast coverage to fixed locations in homes. Broadcasters are looking for a single mobile technology standard that will be backwards compatible with the existing digital TV signal, instead of using other spectrum requiring an entirely new digital TV infrastructure.

A request for proposal of a backwards-compatible mobile and handheld standard for TV broadcasters was issued in May, with preliminary proposals due to the ATSC on June 21 and final proposals due on July 6.

Formed in April, the nine TV groups in the Open Mobile Video Coalition include: Belo, Fox Television Stations, Gannett Broadcasting, Gray Television, ION Media Networks, the NBC and Telemundo Television stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Broadcasting.

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