Broadcasters showcase DTV ‘triple play’ in Washington, D.C.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) gave lawmakers and administration officials a firsthand look at the full potential of DTV, including HDTV, new digital channels and a preview of mobile DTV last week.

ION Media Networks’ WPXW-DT, FOX Television Stations’ WDCA-DT, Gannett Broadcasting’s WUSA-TV, NBC Universal’s WRC-DT, PBS’ WHUT-DT, MHz Networks’ WNVT-DT and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s WNUV-DT participated in the July 28 showcase of DTV’s capabilities in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The showcase demonstrated to members of Congress how their constituents can benefit from the conversion to DTV broadcasting, said Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting and OMVC executive committee member.

Leading up to the June transition to digital, the primary focus of the government and broadcasters alike was helping viewers with analog sets make the necessary preparations to continue receiving an over-the-air (OTA) TV signal, said Brandon Burgess, chairman and CEO of ION Media Networks. However, now “it’s time to showcase the great new services made possible by DTV,” he said.

Burgess, who also serves as the president of the OMVC, added that the DTV transition is making possible a “triple play” of new OTA services, including HDTV, free digital subchannels and mobile DTV. “I’m proud that ION was the first station on the air in Washington and New York with a mobile DTV signal,” he said. ION began broadcasting a mobile DTV signal June 13, the day after it signed on its new Washington, D.C., digital station.

The participation of the OMVC in the late July event served as a preview of a Mobile DTV Consumer Showcase that will go live later this year in the Washington, D.C., market. The showcase will provide a consumer test bed for mobile DTV content, services and features.

Besides the broadcasters, several companies and industry organizations participated in the Rayburn Building event, including LG Electronics, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Association for Maximum Service Television, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the Minority Media and Telecom Counsel, PBS and the Association of Public Television Stations, along with manufacturers Dell, Harris, Kenwood, Roundbox, Rohde & Schwarz and Samsung.