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LG, Harris Pitch Community Broadcasters on MPH

Officials of Harris and LG Electronics subsidiary Zenith—together, the developers of MPH in-band mobile digital television (DTV) technology—talked up their system at a keynote presentation at the Community Broadcasters Association annual conference in Las Vegas week.

“Delivering robust DTV signals to a new generation of mobile-portable-handheld devices is what MPH is all about,” said Wayne Luplow, vice president for HDTV standards and promotion at Zenith. “Our highly flexible system maximizes broadcasters’ use of their DTV spectrum. LPTV stations will be able to offer between four and six mobile, locally oriented channels, which seems likely to give them a substantial competitive edge.”

The companies announced MPH (mobile-portable-handheld) technology this spring before NAB2007. A competing system (A-VSB, being developed by Rohde & Schwarz and Samsung), was introduced at NAB2006. Both technologies were demonstrated at NAB2007 and are discussed by TV Technology columnist Doug Lung here and here and by correspondent John Merli.

By June, ATSC had received eight additional proposals for its mobile/handheld candidate standard.

At the CBA conference, Harris and Zenith touted the potential for new revenue streams for mobile DTV particularly for community broadcasters.

“MPH in-band mobile DTV enjoys some distinct advantages over other delivery media, not the least of which is that it can be advertising-[based] rather than subscription-based.” said Jay Adrick, vice president of broadcast technology at Harris Broadcast Communication.

Some have predicted mobile DTV will be the salvation of free ad-supported over-the-air television.

MPH has been in development for more than two years at the LG Electronics DTV Laboratory in Seoul, South Korea, and at LG’s Zenith lab near Chicago, and builds on the ATSC standards Enhanced VSB (E-VSB) system and 8-VSB.

Last week, the companies submitted 80-plus pages to the ATSC, detailing its proposal of MPH as a candidate standard for mobile DTV.