Mobile DTV makes its mark at NAB Show

Mobile DTV at the 2011 NAB Show demonstrated that it has moved beyond beta testing to wider deployment and promises a bright future for broadcasters and viewers alike with new future capabilities like electronic coupons, VOD and real-time integration with social media.

According to OMVC figures released at the 2011 NAB Show, 76 stations are on the air in 32 markets with mobile DTV service.

“Between those stations already on-air and those who are coming soon, we project that mobile DTV will reach more than 71 million households, or more than two-thirds of all viewers in America, in the next 12 months,” said Anne Schelle, executive director of the OMVC, a coalition of America’s broadcasters.

The Mobile DTV Pavilion in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center gave broadcasters attending this year’s show a chance to see firsthand various new consumer mobile DTV receivers being introduced in 2011 as well as technology demonstrations from broadcast industry companies. The pavilion’s experience zone provided a look at some of the latest mobile DTV consumer products, such as the new Valups Tivizen receiver that plugs directly into the iPad and iPhone; the Cydle iPhone cradle for mobile DTV reception; portable WiFi devices from Crestech; and new portable TV sets for mobile DTV reception from RCA.

Other displays included a look at setting up in-vehicle live mobile DTV reception and display from Winegard, prototypes of cellphones equipped with mobile DTV receive capability from LG Electronics and Samsung, as well as Dell’s prototype netbook computer with built-in mobile DTV and USB receivers for laptops from DTVinteractive, Hauppauge and Pixtree.

Once again, the local Las Vegas broadcaster community assisted with mobile DTV demonstrations at the show. This year, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVMY-TV (UHF Channel 22) provided mobile DTV service with a combination of technology from various vendors, including Screen Service, Harmonic and Rohde & Schwarz.

Editor’s note: The Open Mobile Video Coalition and Broadcast Engineering magazine are hosting a one-day technical training workshop on how to implement mobile DTV on June 28 at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City. Details are available at

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.