Richard Fiore Jr., Thomson Broadcast VP sales worldwide, transmission & mobility, expects this year's NAB Show to see further evidence that mobile DTV will be top of mind for broadcasters interested in RF as they seek to tap into the content desires of consumers on the go. However, given the uncertainty created by the FCC as it pursues its National Broadband Plan, don't expect to see much more than discussion about Mobile DTV, he said.

“Everybody is thinking about it, but no one will do anything about it until the FCC takes action,” Fiore said.

Given the position PCs and Macs have established in consumer homes and offices over the past 20 years and the popularity of smartphones and tablets today, Fiore said he understands the government's perspective.

“But I am not always sure they take into account everything,” he said. “They have a vision, and I am not always sure that everybody's vision is 20/20. There always seems to be a prejudice toward one segment or another, and right now they are favoring broadband.”

If the commission remains committed to favoring wireless carriers of broadcasters and moves forward with its plans to recoup 120MHz of TV spectrum, Mobile DTV could be seriously affected, he said. That's because the success broadcasters will have in attracting a mobile audience will be directly tied to the ability of viewers on the go to depend on being able to receive the Mobile DTV signal.

It boils down to QoS, Fiore said.

“How much do you have to pay for quality of service in terms of bandwidth usage?” he asked. “In mobile, depending on what you want to deliver, you need forward error correction, which can double or quadruple the video bandwidth of the encoder. It all comes down to bandwidth. How much bandwidth do broadcasters have to play with?”