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Friction over network content impeding progress of Mobile DTV, says Aitken

Mobile DTV is on the agenda for the 2012 NAB Show on Monday, April 16, during a Super Session entitled "Mobile Video and Mobile TV — Beyond YouTube."

One of the panelists scheduled to participate in the session is Mark Aitken, VP Advanced Technology for the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Last fall at the SMPTE conference in Hollywood, Aitken proposed a new architecture for broadcasting in the United States. His idea was to overlay the transmission capabilities of full-power television stations onto cell networks and thereby allow wireless providers to offload bandwidth intensive video traffic onto the more efficient one-to-many delivery available via broadcasting.

Seeing that Aitken was scheduled for the NAB Super Session on Mobile DTV, I thought he might be planning to use the forum to once again make a pitch for the broadcast overlay proposal. But after speaking with Aitken for this two-part podcast interview, I learned he has a lot more on his mind.

In this, the first part of the interview, Aitken says friction between broadcast television networks and their local affiliates over the right to transmit network content on Mobile DTV channels is a major reason for the slow takeoff of this new technology. He discusses how recent Congressional action authorizing the FCC to conduct voluntary incentive auctions may affect mobile deployment. And he previews what he plans to talk about during the Super Session.

A special note to listeners: Part two of this podcast interview will blast as part of the NAB Update newsletter Thursday, March 22, which you can find at the Broadcast Engineering newsletter page. Both parts also will be available on the Sound Off page of the Broadcast Engineering website.