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Harris Mobile DTV Technology Heading to Latin America

The United States is still months away from a mobile DTV standard, but the platform touted by Harris Broadcast Communications, LG Electronics, Zenith and Samsung has been slated for deployment in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Harris said it has signed an agreement with regional broadcaster Albavision to implement the platform at Radio Television Guatemala and REPRETEL in Costa Rica. Albavision plans to deploy the technology elsewhere in the region later, Harris said.

“Radio Television Guatemala and REPRETEL have existing Harris ATSC transmitter installations and have been broadcasting in the ATSC standard for more than a year,” said Juan Pablo Alviz, chief technology officer of Albavision. “Therefore, we are very excited to take the next step and be the first broadcast operation in the Latin American region to broadcast to mobile devices using the new Harris mobile TV platform. The new proposed ATSC standard capability will allow us to integrate our current high-definition infrastructure and the capacity of mobile television without the need to incur a major investment. This is possible by making efficient use of spectrum when combining high-definition content for residences and lower resolution content for mobile units—both within the same transmission frequency and infrastructure.”

The Harris platform, expected to be available in November, is based on the standard proposed to ATSC based primarily on elements of MPH technology (developed by Harris, LG Electronics and Zenith) and on Samsung’s A-VSB system.

“ATSC adoption is increasing within the [Latin America and Caribbean region], and Harris is pleased to play a significant role in Albavision’s mobile DTV evolution,” said Nahuel Villegas, Harris Broadcast Communications vice president for the region.