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ATSC to develop new in-band mobile TV standard

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is developing a standard that will enable broadcasters to deliver TV content and data to mobile and handheld devices via DTV broadcast signal.

Like the MPH mobile digital system recently developed by Harris and LG Electronics, the standard, dubbed ATSC-M/H, will allow broadcasters to use a portion of their digital channel allocation to deliver over-the-air TV signals to handhelds and other mobile devices. It will be backward compatible with ATSC 8-VSB transmission and receiving equipment, with no need to erect a separate transmitter dedicated to the service.

In a press release about the standard, Mark Richer, president of the ATSC, said it could be used to send signals to small handheld receivers, laptop computers and vehicles moving at a high rate of speed. Other services ATSC-M/H could potentially support include free (advertiser-supported) television and interactive services delivered in real time, subscription-based TV and on-demand downloaded content. It may also be used for transmission of new data broadcasting services such as real-time navigation data for in-vehicle use.

The ATSC is currently seeking technical proposals for the development of the standard, for consideration by its Technology and Standards Group.

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