NAB President Highlights Mobile DTV and New TV Transmission Format

NAB president, Gordon Smith, in his NAB Show keynote address called for broadcasters to move forward with the times and take advantage of new technologies that might help broadcasting to remain viable.

“Our future lies in innovating and spurring technology that will deliver our highly valued content to any platform for generations to come,” said Smith. “The time has come for us to unite in our embrace of new technology and to realize the consequences if we don't.”

He cited mobile DTV as an example, noting that 25 new stations will be “lighting up mobile TV in some of our biggest cities.”

At the Verizon’s NAB Show booth I noticed they were touting their LTE network for delivering broadcast content. President Smith noticed the trend too, remarking, “Our competitors in the wireless industry want to be part of the mobile TV business… and they are investing a lot of money in this endeavor. They are even branding their service 'mobile TV.' But our competitors will never have what we have—the ability to deliver our high-quality content reliably.”

My observation is that an obvious problem with distributing programming over a wireless carrier's network is that there are many of them. If a deal is signed with Verizon will AT&T customers be able to view the program? What about T-Mobile and Sprint customers? It could get messy.

While Smith did not mention ATSC 3.0 or “Next Generation Broadcasting” specifically in the transcript, he encouraged broadcasters to consider new technologies, stating, “We must seize the opportunities that new technology platforms present to broadcasters, otherwise, we are essentially handing our competitors the keys to our future. It is my opinion that television broadcasting should seriously consider the challenges and opportunities of moving to a new standard, allowing stations the flexibility they need to better serve their viewers, compete in a mobile world, and find new revenue streams.” A complete transcript of his address is available at

The next few years are going to be challenging for broadcasters. NAB is in a unique position to lead the transition to a new platform as it and its members have experience three areas critical to a successful transition—regulatory, business, and technology.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack. A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.