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Companies Collaborate on Mobile DTV Publishing Platform

The for-profit PBS subsidiary, National Datacast, and mobile broadcast software provider Roundbox this week announced they have collaborated on a Mobile Digital TV (DTV) Publishing Platform that will allow content distributors and information providers to distribute their content to Mobile DTV-enabled devices using National Datacast's satellite network, member TV broadcast stations and the Roundbox Mobile Broadcast Suite 5.0.

"National Datacast is excited about the potential of Mobile DTV," said Jacqueline Weiss, CEO of National Datacast. "Working with Roundbox, together we can deliver a turn key means for non-broadcast program networks and others to have their own presence in the Mobile DTV broadcast environment."

"National Datacast's deep network assets combined with Roundbox's Mobile Broadcast Suite for Mobile DTV provides a compelling platform for content providers to distribute media to mobile devices," said Dennis Specht, co-founder and CEO at Roundbox. "Our products enable video clips, web content, and various other types of file content to be distributed to consumers, providing a web-like on-demand experience, delivered with the reach and economics of broadcast."

The National Datacast and Roundbox news release said the companies expect the Mobile DTV Publishing Platform to create new markets and revenue streams for content providers and distributors and create "the ultimate mobile viewing experience for consumers."

National Datacast has been in operation since 1988 providing nationwide terrestrial wireless data broadcasting services over PBS member television stations. Analog TV signals carried data in the vertical blanking interval to provide services such as TV Guide information and real-time credit card information at retail point of sale locations for VISA. On screen data has allowed toys such as the Microsoft Actimates talking Barney doll to interact with TV content. TSReader and other stream analyzers will display the PIDs and in some cases the IP data National Datacast is sending over PBS DTV stations. See for more information on the service.

Roundbox and Harris Corporation demonstrated a comprehensive Mobile DTV solution at this year's NAB. Roundbox datacasting is one several packages available in the Roundbox Mobile Broadcast Suite.

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.