Harris Launches New Mobile DTV Standard for Broadcasters

Harris is introducing a new mobile TV standard that uses broadcasters' DTV signals to transmit audio video content to mobile devices.

The broadcast equipment manufacturer says it will reveal more plans about the proposed "ATSC Mobile" standard at NAB2007, including announcing partnerships as well as a possible technology demonstration in Las Vegas during the show.

In announcing the initiative--code named "Project Eagle"--to a gathering of the trade press in New York last week, the company places itself in direct competition with A-VSB, which is also based on the ATSC standard and is being developed by Samsung and Rohde & Schwarz. Samsung demonstrated the standard at CES in Las Vegas last month. The ATSC, which is the standards body for U.S. digital television is currently considering standardizing A-VSB.

ATSC Mobile is "in-band and optimized for mobile pedestrian and handheld-type services," said Jay Adrick, vice president of strategic development for Harris Broadcast Communications Division. "The platform has performance specifications that exceed A-VSB. In fact, we have about a 7 dB greater signal threshold in performance than A-VSB."

Harris has been conducting low power testing "in a major city" using a 1 Watt transmitter, according to Adrick.

"We are about to move that testing to a major market with a high power VHF station in a Top 30 market and conduct some field trials during the month of March," Adrick said.

Harris will continue to support development of other mobile TV standards, Adrick added. "We're not a single flavor house when it comes to mobile TV," he said.