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Second ATSC Mobile DTV Plugfest Tests Device Compatibility

Attendance was up at the second ATSC Mobile DTV plugfest held March 1-3 at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) headquarters in Arlington, Va. A total of 19 companies and 38 participants attended this month's plugfest compared to 15 and 28, respectively, for the first plugfest in December.

CEA Vice President of Technology and Standards Brian Markwalter said, "From supporting development of the mobile ATSC standard to outreach and education, CEA has taken a leading role in promoting mobile DTV. As more products are available in more markets, we are pleased that the major stakeholders are utilizing this critical interoperability checkpoint. We are excited to participate as this technology truly takes off this year."

Participating companies included Acrodyne Services; ArcSoft, Inc.; Axcera; Axel Technologies; BnCom; DTVInteractive; Elgato Systems; Expway; GMIT GmbH; Harmonic Inc., Harris Corporation; JVC-Kenwood; Linear Industries; Rohde and Schwarz; Roundbox; Thomson Grass Valley; Triveni Digital; Zenith/LG Electronics and more.

If you have been following my discussion of the ATSC A/153 Mobile DTV standard in TV Technology, you have an idea how complex it is. These plugfests play an important role in making sure that when the first consumer products appear later this year, they will work with the variety of equipment broadcasters are using to generate and transmit MDTV signals.

I was pleased to see Elgato Systems on the list. Elgato sells a popular line of USB tuners for Apple and PC computers. I'm looking forward to adding their ATSC MDTV tuner to my collection of USB TV tuners. With NAB only a few weeks away, we shouldn't have to wait long to see what the transmitter and broadcast equipment companies were testing!

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.