Envisioneering Group Gives Nod to Harris/LG MPH Mobile DTV

After studying the different options for mobile digital television reception, The Envisioneering Group concluded that the MPH system developed by LG Electronics and Harris Corporation “is the most viable portable DTV solution and creates major market opportunities for broadcasters and manufacturers.”

Envisoneering’s analysis concluded, “While other mobile modulation and encoding solutions have been proposed to deliver digital TV services to individuals and vehicles, the MPH in-band mobile DTV system seems to provide the best solution to drive portable digital TV to volumes, services and robustness above and beyond consumers’ existing portable (analog) TV expectations.”

The research firm listed three advantages of the MPH system:

  • Single antenna reception robustness (eliminates dual-antenna cost and clutter)
  • Versatile bandwidth and data economy, enabling single and multi-channel delivery
  • Compatible integration and migration into the existing ATSC DTV broadcast infrastructure

A news release said “MPH is not just a potential replacement for more than 100 million analog battery TV sets in monthly use (168 million in seasonal use), but also is “poised to expand broadcasters’ digital services offerings, and therefore boost the value and appeal of mobile DTV to tens of millions more viewers outside the reach of primetime TV -- and boost viewership ratings in the process,” Envisioneering said in a press release.

Envisioneering Research Director and CEO Richard Doherty predicted that MPH handheld DTV sets would replace the millions of “battery-hungry analog TVs” and that the technology would be attractive for both emergency and recreational purposes. He also said that new display technologies would further define the mobile TV market.

“LCD and OLED screens will enable pocket and purse sized MPH DTVs with much-larger daylight and desk viewable screens; appealing to commuting and backyard patio use alike,” said Doherty. “MPH vehicular receivers for automobile headliners and headrests will inform auto, limo, van, taxi and bus passengers, while family car MPH designs will deliver more value than satellite alternatives for keeping back-seat peace. PCs, notebook PCs and PDAs may be MPH enabled with both integrated and add-on tuner sticks.”

He said that pocket media players could feature integrated or add-on MPH capability, and that MPH tuners are likely to find their way into portable DVD players as well.

“Envisioneering sees a potential standalone MPH receiver market matching or exceeding the 168 million analog battery TVs now in use within a decade,” said Doherty. “Beyond handheld designs, MPH receivers will also be delivered as paperback book sized and larger portable TVs for home and away. Also, new demand for DTV emergency TVs, tuners for notebook PCs, media players, handheld games and vehicles could well push total receiver demand to over 200 million units by 2017 for the United States and Canada alone.”

The complete report is available on-line. See In-Band Mobile DTV Will Drive Personal Video Receiver Consumer Adoption.

Doug Lung

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.