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MobiTV to Go HD and 5.1

EMERYVILLE, CALIF.: MobiTV is teaming up with Dolby Labs to deliver surround sound. The mobile programming provider said it plans to integrate Dolby Digital Plus into its content delivery platform. Mobi is also collaborating with Texas Instruments to deliver content across multiple platforms in HD using TI’s OMAP processor. 

The TI deal “... is a first step toward more widespread secure delivery of high-definition content across multiple IP-connected devices like tablets, phones and IP-connected set-top boxes,” MobiTV Vice President of Technology Cedric Fernandes said.

Using the TI processor, Mobi will be able to develop “a mosaic viewing experience within a single screen that enables secure simultaneous playback of up to six live feeds,” the company said. This multi-split-screen streaming is achieved with the integration of MobiTV’s digital rights management and playback technology with the “M-Shield” security feature in TI’s platform.

Trusted Logic Mobility provided “expertise” on the use of the secure middleware component developed for M-Shield, “which enables applications to run in a highly secure mode within a Trusted Execution Environment,” Mobi said

Mobi provides mobile TV service for Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, Tellus, US Cellular and AT&T. The company also has agreed to provide access and programming information technologies to Mobile Content Venture, a broadcaster-driven mobile DTV initiative. 

MobiTV pioneered the concept of handset television, but is under increasing pressure from over-the-top video providers, GigaOm’s Ryan Lawler points out. The company is responding on several fronts, including through a new app from Sprint that makes Mobi service available to the carrier’s 1.8 million iPhone subscribers. The app is offered in four price tiers starting with a free version that includes NBC, ABC Mobile, CBS and other cable nets, up to a $9.99 monthly for a package that includes MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central among others. AT&T also offers an iPhone/iPad app for $11.99 a month.

FreeWheel, a video technology provider in San Mateo, Calif., reported recently that 80 percent of mobile video views occur on Apple devices, including the iPad, which accounted for one-fifth of mobile video viewing in the company’s sample. Mobi is going after iPads and other platforms not only with apps, but with a turnkey TV Everywhere service targeting cable, telco and satellite TV providers. Germany’s Deutsche Telekom is integrating the platform into its IPTV service.

Last August, MobiTV signaled its intention to become a public company with a Securities and Exchange filing to raise $75 million in an initial public offering. It reported a net loss of $8.1 million on revenues of $36.9 million for the first half of 2011, with $32 million in cash as of the filing.
~Deborah D. McAdams