Chicago Stations Demonstrate Mobile DTV

WCPX (an Ion Media Networks station) and WPWR (Fox) in Chicago have completed field trials on mobile DTV, and the Open Mobile Video Coalition has declared the tests a success.

"The positive results of OMVC members' testing in Chicago speak volumes," said Patrick Mullen, OMVC Executive Committee member and vice president and general manager of WPWR. "We now have evidence that the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard is appropriate for widespread adoption in order to bring live and local television broadcasting to the mobile market."

Anne Schelle, OMVC executive director, called the technology and the ATSC mobile DTV standard “ready to be deployed.”

OMVC said the standard is expected to be adopted as an ATSC Candidate Standard by early December, with a final standard approved by early summer.

The field test follows other, similar efforts. In July, digital pioneer WRAL sponsored a test run in the Raleigh-Durham (N.C.) television market in cooperation with LG Electronics, Zenith and Harris Corporation, the main developers of the “M/H” mobile DTV standard.

In August, Sinclair Broadcast Group ran a field trial with WBFF, its Fox affiliate in Baltimore, Md. Ion has been conducting trials in the Denver area with KPXC since October and determined that multiple high-quality programs can be reliably delivered on mobile devices at varying speeds, OMVC said in a statement.

"As we forge ahead with our shared objective of launching mobile DTV services in 2009, the standard has proven to meet the challenges of such complex terrain as Chicago,” said Brandon Burgess, OMVC President and Ion Media Networks chairman and CEO. “We look forward to actualizing the mobile broadcast platform and providing consumers with real-time, full motion television—traditional, broadcast and network TV content."