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WGBH Launches Mobile Service With Grass Valley Gear

Public television station WGBH has initiated mobile television service in the Boston market with a new Thomson transmission system from Grass Valley. The station is now simulcasting two Mobile DTV channels in addition to its main high-definition program stream.

“We’re very excited to be the first in our market to offer Mobile DTV services to our audience,” said WGBH’s chief technology officer, Joe Igoe. “We see Mobile DTV as a way to expand our ability to deliver services to a broader geographic area on a wider range of devices. Grass Valley’s statistical multiplexing for Mobile DTV will allow us to offer more of our educational services at a higher quality level than would be otherwise possible in our broadcast spectrum. We plan to offer additional Mobile DTV services as the market develops.”

The station is offering content from its primary on-air channel, as well as the “GBH Kids Channel” to mobile device viewers. In addition, it’s transmitting two audio program streams.

The Thomson equipment used by WGBH is based on the ATSC A/153 mobile standard, and consists of the company’s Adapt IV exciter with mobility software, a NetProcessor 9030, a Jade electronic service guide, two ViBE mobility encoders, two ViBE audio encoders and an Amethyst smart switch to achieve a redundant operation. The service launched in late 2009, with additional services being added this year.