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ATSC Launches Mobile TV Certification Mark

12/18/2009 02:07:07 PM Eastern

Washington -
The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) launched Wednesday a
certification program for broadcast equipment and consumer receivers that
comply with the ATSC M/H standard for mobile TV.

News of the announcements, which was referenced during a
TWICE/Broadcasting & Cable "TV On The Go" Webinar Wednesday, will use a certification
mark for products that comply with the ATSC Mobile/Handheld (M/H) standard, and
was developed in cooperation with the Consumer
Electronics Association
(CEA). The ATSC's certification mark usage policy
is available at its Web site.

The program also lays out the technical specifications for
broadcasters to provide new services to mobile and handheld devices using their
DTV transmissions.

The Certification Program uses primarily self-certification
by industry members, but it adds provisions for independent laboratory testing,
and expert evaluations to help assure compliance.

The Mobile DTV Certification logo is expected to be placed on
a wide array of consumer wireless receiving products with embedded ATSC M/H
tuners, including mobile phones, small handheld DTVs, laptop computers,
"dongles" and in-vehicle entertainment systems. Software and related elements
may also apply.

Also during the Webinar, the Open Mobile Video Coalition
(OMVC), which is promoting the ATSC M/H system, referenced a new national
consumer study that found better than half of all U.S. mobile consumers surveyed
are "ready for live, local Mobile DTV" services and devices.

The study of 1,000 adults, which was conducted for the OMVC
by market research firm Magid Media Labs, showed that nearly nine out of 10
respondents are interested in watching live news and weather programming while
on the go.

The OMVC is primarily comprised of broadcasters and
manufacturers looking to promote and evolve the new ATSC Mobile/Handheld
broadcasting system, which transmits programming receivable by portable devices
moving at speeds in excess of 70 mph.

According to the poll, local news and information content
will drive live Mobile DTV, with 88 percent of respondents expressing interest
in watching this content on mobile devices including laptops, netbooks,
cellular handsets, smartphones and other devices, the OMVC said.

The OMVC said the appeal was particularly high among young
adult "Millennials" (ages 18 to 29), who will be among the early Mobile DTV
adopters.

These Millennial respondents find Mobile DTV appealing
generally, and their interest in mobile local news is double their current
daily viewership on conventional TV sets.

"The results of this new national survey may surprise some,
but not local broadcasters. Online adults say that live broadcast TV
programming is crucial, with more than half the respondents saying they want
access to live, local broadcasts. And nearly half of those surveyed also say
they are interested in buying a new portable device with the capability to
receive Mobile DTV from over-the-air local stations," stated Brandon Burgess, ION
Media Network CEO and OMVC president.

To get an overview of the national appetite for mobile
digital television, the OMVC recently commissioned the national online survey
of mobile device owners from Magid Media Labs.

"We believe broadcast Mobile DTV will drive overall mobile
video consumption, and those surveyed point to the public benefit of live,
local broadcasts - including immediate coverage and notification of weather
emergencies and other high-interest breaking news stories that local stations
are uniquely able to provide to viewers. It's time for digital TV to break out
of the confines of the living room and reach people where they are living,
working, and at play - and Mobile DTV will make all of that possible," Burgess
said.

"There is no current service that delivers robust
over-the-air local broadcast TV news and information to a portable device, but
we anticipate dozens of new products to be available along with new Mobile DTV
signals that have already begun to roll out around the country.

"Utilizing the newly-adopted Mobile DTV standard, a host of
portable devices will soon make it possible to stay connected to local
programs, sports, weather alerts, and favorite shows regardless of location,"
Burgess said.

Some 30 local broadcast stations are now on the air with
trial services in various markets around the country. More local broadcasters
are gearing up to follow, over the next several months.

Mobile devices make for mobile consumption, as respondents
said they would watch DTV outside the home, including at work and while
commuting. More than three-quarters (78 percent)
of respondents said they would be most likely to watch live Mobile DTV on a
laptop, netbook, cell phone, or smartphone.

Among those with children in the household, 31 percent would give the mobile device to their child to
watch in the car.

Live programming is critical in overall mobile DTV mix, with 51 percent saying that they want it to be part of the experience,
compared to just 18 percent that prefer a strictly on-demand model.

Advertising
acceptance is high
, with 49 percent saying they would watch
commercials on their mobile device.

Interest in
paying for premium content is also strong
, with more than
one-third (36 percent) of respondents expressing interest in recent movies,
premium sporting events, and other programming on a subscription or
pay-per-view basis.

"Traditional TV delivery methods do not satisfy to
Millennials' sensibilities," said Jaime Spencer, director of Magid Media Labs.
"Making local news and information content available to Millennials on their
terms and where they live their lives greatly increases the appeal of this
content."

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