Washington, D.C., stations to showcase mobile DTV

Washington, D.C., will serve as a product showcase market and the Atlanta and Seattle markets are becoming sites of model stations for mobile DTV technology, the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) announced during the NAB Show.

In addition to the Washington consumer showcase and the Atlanta and Seattle model stations, the OMVC said 70 TV stations have signed on to deliver live mobile DTV in 28 markets by the end of 2009.

During a breakfast event April 20 at the NAB Show, the coalition also announced that Dell is joining other companies, including LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Kenwood, to support mobile DTV reception, with its new Inspiron Mini 10 netbook.

The Washington, D.C., trial, which will go live later this summer, will let broadcasters showcase and test mobile DTV programming, services and features. The trial will help prepare broadcasters for the full commercial deployment of services scheduled for later this year.

Initial participants in the Washington, D.C., trial include FOX Television Station’s WDCA-DT; Gannett Broadcasting’s WUSA-DT; ION Media Networks’ WPXW-DT; NBC Universal’s WRC-DT; PBS’ WHUT-DT and MHZ Networks; the Sinclair Broadcast Group-operated WNUV-DT; and National Datacast. The coalition anticipates adding more stations to the trial in the near term.

Besides the Washington, D.C., stations, four others — two each in Atlanta and Seattle — will be activated to serve as extensive system test and validation markets for device interoperability. They include WPXA-DT, an ION Media-owned station serving Atlanta, which began transmitting mobile service April 1. Atlanta’s WATL-DT, a Gannett-owned MyNetwork TV affiliate, as well as Belo-owned KONG-DT and Fisher-owned ABC affiliate KOMO-DT in Seattle are due to begin full-time mobile DTV service this spring.

The stations will give manufacturers sites from which to test and develop products to meet the needs of broadcasters, electronics manufacturers and consumers.