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Harris Unveils Next-Generation ATSC Mobile DTV Launch Kit

DENVER–Harris Broadcast Communications, a provider of interoperable workflow platforms, debuts its next-generation Advanced Television Systems Committee Mobile Digital Television launch kit to help expedite channel launches for broadcasters.

The solution meets the requirements of the business model of the Mobile500 Alliance, with applications for banner ad placement on program guides, channel-change advertising, audience measurement and digital video recorder (DVR)-like capabilities to record and playback content.

The Mobile500 Alliance represents 51 member broadcast companies and 437 U.S. television stations with plans to launch MDTV services.

According to John Lawson, executive director of the organization, its business model extends ATSC MDTV programming to new viewers and less-watched dayparts through support for more consumer devices. This includes its MyDTV app, which enables compatibility with Apple iPhones and iPad tablets.

“Mobile500 ‘speaks broadcaster,” said Lawson. “Consumers win because they get the ad-supported content they value, without a new data plan or monthly subscription. Broadcasters win because we create a platform for new advertising inventory that our sales teams know how to sell.”

The launch kit includes ready-to-plug-in hardware and software required to support over-the-air MDTV channels for existing DTV transmitters. It includes the Harris Selenio media convergence platform for signal encoding, Harris Apex M2X software-defined exciter technology and middleware from Expway to support program guides and other on-air services, the company says.

The solution also has integrated conditional access software to support content protection, and Harris says it plans to add Mobile EAS capability in 2013 to support emergency alerting for TV stations.

“Harris’ appointment as a reseller of Expway products to offer a seamless deployment of the MyDTV platform for Mobile500 member stations is a hugely positive development,” Lawson said. “Harris has a trusted brand, a huge installed base at stations across the country, and a proven commitment to innovation in Mobile DTV. Their leadership in Mobile EAS is a big plus, and the integrated solution with Expway, a leader in Mobile DTV commercialization around the world, creates a highly attractive offer that will accelerate the commercial rollout of Mobile DTV by our members.”