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Stations Add Mobile DTV, But Receivers Remain Scarce

Broadcasters across the country have added Mobile DTV broadcasts to their ATSC streams, but for the most part, they've done so with little publicity. One of the most up-to-date lists is Trip Ericson's Mobile DTV Service List.

At the end of the year, a limited assortment of ATSC Mobile DTV receivers were available on line. Many RF Report readers got their first opportunity to view Mobile DTV signals when Decontis released software that allowed viewing ATSC MH signals with a conventional ATSC USB tuner.

You'll be hearing a lot more about Mobile DTV in 2011, thanks to the Mobile Content Venture (MCV) and the Mobile 500 Alliance. Stations belonging to the two groups have committed to roll out Mobile DTV services. The MCV has committed to rolling out mobile DTV service in 20 markets by the end of 2011, reaching 40 percent of the U.S. population. That shouldn't be too difficult—as mobile DTV signals are on the air in many of those markets today.

These two groups will be able to work with consumer electronic manufacturers on product design, applications and marketing. Look for evidence of this at next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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.