ION Media announces successful mobile TV test

ION Media, one of the broadcasters leading the move to a new mobile television standard, reported successful field trial demonstrations, which aired on WCPX in Chicago and KPXC in Denver. WCPX, transmitting from on top of the Sears Tower, and KPXC, reaching the Denver market from a Fort Lupton-based tower, broadcast two mobile DTV programs simultaneously within their 6MHz channel. The broadcaster used handheld mobile phones and laptops fitted with USB receivers, aboard test vans that traveled throughout the downtown area, surrounding suburbs and rural regions.

eveloped by a subcommittee of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the proposed new standard will compete with QUALCOMM’s MediaFLO technology that AT&T and Verizon use to deliver mobile television to subscribers, but unlike MediaFLO, it doesn’t require a separate network to broadcast the shows.

group of broadcast networks, LG Electronics and Samsung have joined the Open Mobile Video Coalition, which is working with the ATSC to create the new mobile standard for next year.

he ATSC plans to formally approve the standard later this month, and it plans for electronic devices embedded with the necessary receiver circuitry to be available before the end of 2009. Initial offerings are expected to be obtainable via the automotive industry.

Editor’s note: Listen to Brett Jenkins, ION Media Networks’ director, technology strategy and development, talk about what was learned from the tests.