New York - MetroPCS
plans to launch this year the first mobile device that will receive live local
mobile DTV broadcasts.
will be transmitted by more than 72 TV stations in 32 markets under the Dyle
Mobile TV brand.
Dyle Mobile TV is
the brand adopted by the Mobile Content Venture (MCV), which is owned by 12
broadcast groups representing 281 stations, and by two other TV broadcasters.
The broadcasters plan to launch Dyle service through 72 stations that reach 50
percent of the U.S. population.
The MetroPCS phone
will be an Android-based Samsung-made 4G LTE smartphone with embedded ATSC-M/H
(Mobile/Handheld) tuner and telescoping antenna. The phone will be available in
MetroPCS-owned stores in all of MetroPCS's 14 markets, which are within the Dyle
TV footprint. The phone might also be available at launch in independent wireless
stores that specialize in MetroPCS service, said Stephen Jemente, MetroPCS
product manager for digital media and location-based services.
MetroPCS and the
MCV declined to say whether the phone would launch in the first or second half
of the year, but it will be the first device available to receive Dyle TV
service. MCV "will talk about other devices over the next several weeks," added
Salil Dalvi, MCV's co-general manager and NBCUniversal's senior VP of digital distribution.
Smartphones, however, "will be a crucial part of the mix" given widespread
cellphone adoption, he said.
collaboration allows Dyle to take the first step in realizing the broadcaster
vision of live local TV on every smartphones," MCV added in a written
ATSC-M/H devices, consumers will be able to watch local DTV stations while
sitting in a moving vehicle, whereas mobile DTV tuners now on the market must
be stationary in order to display a DTV broadcast.
At International CES
in Las Vegas, Samsung Mobile, MetroPCS and MCV will demonstrate live Dyle
broadcasts, and the planned Samsung phone might appear as a "device in
development" at MCV's exhibit, said Erik Moreno, MCV's co-general manager and
Fox Networks Group senior VP of corporate development.
Besides Las Vegas,
the MetroPCS markets where Dyle service will be available consist of Atlanta;
Boston; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Detroit; Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville,
Fla.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.; New York
In select MetroPCS
markets, up to five stations will be transmitting their free over-the-air
mobile DTV broadcasts for viewing on the smartphone. Eventually, Dyle TV plans
to offer a mix of free and subscription-based programming.
of the MCV consortium are Fox, NBC, Ion Television, Belo, Cox Media Group, E.W.
Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith,
Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media. Broadcasters Bahakel and Univision,
who are not MCV shareholders, also plan to launch Dyle TV service this year.
Their stations are
encrypting their mobile-DTV broadcasts for display on smartphones and other
planned mobile devices, all of which must be able to access the Internet through
cellular or Wi-Fi to download changing encryption keys. The devices' Internet
access will also enable the consortium to measure viewership.
Neither Samsung nor
the MCV would say whether the Samsung smartphone would also be able to display
the encrypted ATSC-M/H broadcasts of TV stations in a rival broadcaster group
called the Mobile500 Alliance. The Dyle phone, however, will be able to display
unencrypted broadcasts, although MCV said it's unaware of any TV station
planning to do so.
MCV also declined
to say whether the Samsung phone would offer live-pause or time-shifting
capabilities like a DVR, but the phone will have an electronic program guide and
a signal-strength meter.
To promote the
Samsung phone, MetroPCS "plans to make a big splash" and put "quite a bit of
effort" behind promoting it, said MetroPCS's Jemente. He declined to specify
the mix of media in which ads would be placed.
MetroPCS were selected as partners in the launch because of their willingness
to move quickly, MCV's Dalvi said. "Samsung raised their hand and was very
aggressive," he said. And MetroPCS was likewise willing "to move fast and
first," he said.
with FLO TV, the now-defunct subscription-based mobile-DTV service using 700MHz
terrestrial spectrum, Dalvi emphasized that FLO TV offered no local programming.
When broadcasting NBC's Today Show, for example, FLO TV did not include
local-broadcaster break-ins, he said. With Dyle, consumers in a given market
will see the break-ins of their local NBC station on the "Today" show, he said.
contended that consumers want a mix of video programming on-the-go ranging from
on-demand and live programming as well as short-form and long-form programming.
For its part, the Mobile500
Alliance, which is expected to update its plans at CES, has said it eventually
plans a lineup of 15 to 20 free and subscription channels along with video on
demand and data via Mobile DTV airwaves and 3G/4G and Wi-Fi networks.