NAB Show offers something for every 'broader-caster'

From the Broadcast Engineering Conference to several Super Sessions, the NAB Show’s No. 1 theme this year will be mobile DTV. Experts will weigh in on a range of issues, from how to implement mobile DTV to determining a business model to make it profitable.

We’ve put together a primer to help plan your visit.

This year’s show, with more than 90,000 attendees from 151 countries and in excess of 1500 exhibitors, will cover a lot of technological ground. That’s the beauty of the NAB Show: There’s always something for everyone.

A Super Session called “Mobile TV: A Path to the Future” will be held Monday, April 11, at 2:30 p.m., in Room S222. Led by Gary Arlen, it will feature panelists Saul Berman, global strategy and change services leader for IBM Global Business Services; John Elliott, partner at Accenture Mobility; John Fletcher, analyst at SNL Kagan; Loren Lasley, vice president of worldwide sales at Siano Mobile Silicon; Randa Minkarah, senior vice president of revenue and business development at Fisher Communications; and Erik Moreno, senior vice president of corporate development at Fox.

The session will cover mobile DTV business models, competition and what it might take for mobile DTV to become a mainstream service. Both the Mobile Content Venture and the Mobile500 Alliance will participate. Without support among mobile wireless carriers, the sessions will examine realistically whether mobile DTV can work or whether it’s mainly a defense by broadcasters against the government taking their spectrum for broadband use. It’s a pivotal year for the new service to take hold.

The Mobile DTV Pavilion, in Booth N4036, will showcase the ongoing work of more than a dozen organizations, including both the Mobile Content Venture and The Mobile500 Alliance, as well as a variety of mobile DTV receiving devices, such as USB receivers for computers, portable mobile DTV sets, DVD players with mobile DTV and automobile conversion kits for infotainment systems. Many more products are on the horizon, including accessories for the iPad and iPhone as well as new tablets that can handle subscription programming. Some of these will be on display at the OMVC's Mobile DTV Device Bar.

Numerous conference sessions also will cover the various aspects of mobile DTV, one of which is “Implementing Mobile TV,” Sunday, April 10, 1 p.m., in Room S219. The session will include a status report on the three-year effort to develop the mobile service. There’s also an update on ATSC M/H field testing; a look at mobile DTV gap fillers, repeaters and translators; and updating studio-to-transmitter links and distributed antenna repeater systems for mobile DTV.

Axcera, a manufacturer and integrator of technology for TV broadcast and mobile media, will stage a live over-the-air demonstration of mobile DTV transmission technology in its booth (SU2908), where it will transmit a live mobile DTV signal that will be received by a variety of consumer receivers in the booth. The demonstration will employ Axcera's ATSC Mobile DTV Preprocessor/Multiplexer and its Axciter (ATSC exciter-modulator), along with the 4Caster C4 mobile content encoding solution from Envivio, ESG equipment from Expway and consumer receivers from a variety of suppliers. The transmission will include legacy (main service) ATSC programming to replicate an actual TV station format.

William Meintel, a partner in Meintel, Sgrignoli and Wallace, will discuss field testing of the A/153 Mobile DTV standard by his firm, which found a “serious need” for a new service prediction model April 14, at 10 a.m., in Room S226. He will discuss the development of a new service prediction model based on inclusion of an extensive amount of field data integrated with propagation theory, receiver specifications, terrain data, land use data and available local environmental data.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) and the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), together with the NAB, will sponsor the Mobile DTV Pavilion in Booth N4036. There the OMVC will have a mobile DTV device bar where new products, such as accessories for Apple’s iPad and iPhone, will be shown. Most products, however, will be in prototype form.

Another Super Session, examining the new ways in which content is delivered to consumers and the impact these developments have on TV’s future, will be held Monday, April 11. Led by moderator Will Richmond, president and founder of Broadband Directions, the session entitled "Connected TV: Smart Devices, New Strategies" will discuss the growing influence of the Internet on the living room.

“Connected TVs are a game changer because they move the online video experience into the living room TV for the first time," Richmond said. "By broadening online viewing to TVs, consumers can enjoy their favorite videos on their big-screen TVs, significantly changing the value proposition. On this Super Session panel, we'll be exploring the implications of this important market shift."