MetroPCS/MCV Announce Mobile DTV Deal

Wednesday MetroPCS and Mobile Content Venture announced they are working together to enable MetroPCS customers to watch live, local, broadcast TV on their smartphones.

The first device to have this capability will be a premium Android-based Samsung smartphone with the Dyle application. Service will be available in MetroPCS markets and their surrounding areas. The markets include Atlanta, Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, New York, Philadelphia, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

Mobile Content Venture operations includes ION Television, Fox, NBC-owned stations (including several of that company's Spanish language Telemundo stations) and 11 other major broadcast groups, including Belo Corp., Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps Co., Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith Corp., Post-Newsweek Stations, and Raycom Media.

"We're excited to be the first mobile service provider to deliver a unique entertainment offering like Dyle," said Tom Keys, president and chief operating officer of MetroPCS. "But more important than being first is our belief that this service will meet the needs of our customers and deliver an exceptional mobile experience. We know that our customers have a desire to take entertainment with them wherever they go and understand that they want premium services at an incredible value, which we will continue offering by supplying services like Dyle."

Salil Dalvi and Erik Moreno, co-general managers of MCV said in a joint statement that they were "thrilled" to be working with MetroPCS in making broadcast television available to mobile viewers, with the collaboration allowing Dyle to place local live television "on every smartphone."

I had a brief opportunity to test a very early prototype of the Samsung smartphone with Dyle, and found it performed much better than the Samsung Moment smartphone that was used for the Open Mobile Video Coalition demonstration in Washington, D.C. two years ago. It was superior in sensitivity, usability and battery life. Visitors to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week will have an opportunity to see the device and get a demonstration of how the Dyle mobile DTV service will work. (Samsung did a nice job on this smartphone.)

"MetroPCS is bringing a unique entertainment service, allowing users to do more on the go. We're thrilled to launch the first smartphone with Dyle, providing the ultimate entertainment experience on a Samsung device," said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile.

PC Magazine's Sascha Segan has more on Mobile DTV at CES in his article, Mobile TV Phone, Tablet Coming at CES. Segan said that CES attendees will also see "a 7-inch, Android-powered tablet from RCA which will support the Dyle service, according to RCA spokesman Dave Arland." The tablet will run Android and will support web browsing, but it won't have Android Market.

Look for more mobile DTV news from CES in next week's RF Report.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.