OMVC Folded Into NAB

Doug Lung

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) announced Tuesday that OMVC will integrate functions within NAB.

“The purpose of the OMVC was to help develop a Mobile TV standard, create an ecosystem for broadcasters, manufacturers and other interested parties and to encourage device development,” said Anne Schelle, the OMVC's executive director. “We’ve done that, and with the recent launch of Dyle mobile TV, operated by a consortium of broadcasters known as the Mobile Content Venture, and similar activities by the Mobile500 Alliance, Mobile TV is available in more than 35 U.S. markets covering some 55 percent of the population. Integration with the NAB is the logical next step as the commercialization of Mobile TV enters its next exciting phase.”

Schelle deserves much of the credit for pulling together 36 members representing over 500 commercial TV stations, as well as the Association of Public Television Stations, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Public Broadcasting Service, representing an additional 360 stations. Major electronics manufacturers--including Harris, Rohde and Schwarz, Samsung, LG—have also part of the membership. The group, along with others, created and rolled out a Mobile DTV standard–ATSC A/153–in less than four years.

The work started in 2007 with evaluation of different ATSC compatible mobile DTV systems, culminating with the “Independent Determination of Viability.” With information from the IDOV, OMVC worked with ATSC to develop a final standard in October 2010.

Many of the engineers involved with the OMVC Technical Advisory Group were also members of the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV), and are now members of its successor, the NAB Technology Committee. I expect the work started by OTAG to continue under NAB.

The NAB’s president and CEO, Gordon Smith, pledged the association's full support for building further momentum for Mobile TV.

“The NAB is honored to assume the duties carried out so successfully by the OMVC,” said Smith. “Through the joint efforts of the OMVC, ATSC and innumerable technical groups, the groundwork has been laid for an exciting new TV experience delivered to mobile devices. The NAB, as the voice of the broadcast industry, is the perfect home for this activity as it blossoms into the next great U.S. technology story.”

The success of OMVC should serve as a model for next big challenge facing broadcasters--the transition to a new transmission system under ATSC 3.0.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.