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Mobile DTV Pitched to Detroit

Auto industry engineers check out an in-vehicle Mobile DTV demonstration.
The auto industry was the focus of Mobile DTV boosters this week as representatives from the Open Mobile Video Coalition and LG Electronics previewed the new broadcast service in Detroit.

At a special event in the Motor City, the OMVC demonstrated Mobile DTV to automakers, which included an information seminar as well as an in-vehicle demonstration showing a variety of Mobile DTV devices receiving programs from the two Detroit TV stations currently testing the ATSC-M/H signal—WDIV and WXYZ.

LG Electronics, the Korean-based consumer electronics giant, which helped develop the Mobile DTV standard, is the first company out of the gate with consumer receivers and showcased its DP570MH mobile receiver designed for mobile viewing. The product is essentially a DVD player with a 7-inch screen and an LG2161R ATSC-MH chip, its latest IC for the standard. Much smaller than its predecessor, the LG2160A, the LG2161R consumes less power, supports various interfaces and provides improved performance.

Field trials have shown that the ATSC-MH standard worked “flawlessly” when demonstrated in Chicago in vehicles going 55 mph.

Although no automaker has yet committed itself to installing ATSC-MH receivers into their vehicles, LG executives are optimistic. “It’s easy to receive the new mobile DTV broadcasts with our portable DTV, which comes equipped with a built-in antenna and the ability to play DVDs and CDs,” said Tim Alessi, director of production development, LG Electronics, USA, Inc. “And this technology can be easily integrated into rear-screens as well.”

Detroit-area broadcasters are also hopeful about the emerging technology.

“WXYZ is committed to being a trusted source of Detroit-area news and information, whenever and wherever our audience demands it—whether it’s on air, online or, with today’s announcement, on the go,” said Ed Fernandez, the vice president and general manager of WXYZ, the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate in Detroit. “This mobile technology marries the promise of better and faster information for our valued viewers with the potential to help our area’s businesses strengthen their marketing programs.”

“WDIV is proud to be one of the leaders in broadcasting to mobile digital TV devices, and we know our viewers will appreciate taking along our newscasts, weather, sports and their favorite entertainment programs,” said Marla Drutz, VP and GM of WDIV-TV Detroit, the flagship station of Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc.