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Dyle perfect storm? Elgato joins up for big 2012 ATSC Mobile TV launch

As Dyle gears up for a hopefully big holiday season roll-out in 2012, the Mobile Content Venture (MCV) announced this week that it has signed yet another large consumer electronics manufacturer: Elgato. Dyle is designed to offer consumers a brand-aware option when choosing mobile TV devices. When you see the Dyle logo, you know that it is compatible with the ATSC Mobile DTV standard. But will this new move be enough to push Dyle MDTV out to the masses later this year?

MCV is certainly hoping so. Elgato is developing an antenna plug-in accessory for tablets and smartphones that will allow anyone to receive Dyle-branded digital mobile TV services. The device will have a retractable antenna, be Dyle-certified and allow consumers to watch encrypted DTV channels from broadcast television.

Dyle already has a head-start with currently participating companies producing Dyle devices. The current options now available can pull in signals from almost 100 TV stations in 35 markets, and Dyle is already extending its reach to more than 50 percent of the U.S. population. But the initiative needs products on the shelves, and that has been the stumbling block. For all the reach Dyle has, Dyle-branded options are still mostly in the planning stages, with a late 2012 target.

Dyle has had a lot of support and momentum so far. The goal is to create a branded experience similar to the “Intel Inside” campaign, letting customers know their products are compatible with ATSC. MCV announced that it is working with Belkin to produce dongles for tablets and smartphones that would allow picking up ATSC transmissions. It is also working with MetroPCS Communications to develop an Android /Samsung smartphone with MDTV support. But again, these products have yet to ship. Belkin in particular has a tight relationship with mobile devices, especially on the iOS platform. It’s hard to go into any merchant that offers smartphone and tablet accessories and not see rows of Belkin product accessories.

Dyle certainly has heavyweight support behind it, with MCV partnering with FOX, Ion, Pearl, Cox Media, Gannett, Hearst and many others. Elgato, based in Munich, Germany with offices in San Francisco, has had years of experience deploying all ranges of TV tuners and digital recorders. Like Belkin, Elgato knows its way, and there are few partners stronger to roll out compatible technology.

But Dyle has a challenging road ahead to create brand awareness and convince consumers that free over-the-air TV is the way to go. It also must work to prove that attaching devices and dongles to its devices will be worth the extra effort to increase programming that does not rely on, or impact, its current 3G/4G data plans.

The good news is that Dyle has a lot of momentum, lots of high level partners and several key hardware vendors all in place. The end of 2012 could be a perfect storm for Dyle — and the pivotal moment when the mobile DTV revolution goes to the masses.