Austin, Texas - The dawn of mobile digital TV broadcasting or Mobile
ATSC-M/H (mobile handheld) takes center stage at this week's annual meeting of
the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As).
Broadcasters and content producers are looking to cash in on the
delivery of simulcast local, network and in some cases premium programming to
new generations of mobile DTV devices.
"We're very excited to be working with the TVB, the
not-for-profit trade association of America's commercial broadcast television
industry, to reach out to America's advertising community this week during the
4As' conference in Austin. Advertisers
will want to find out more about the new services and new devices that are just
now reaching retail stores," said Anne Schelle, executive director of Open
Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), an association of TV broadcasters and mobile DTV
device manufacturers promoting the spread of Mobile Digital TV (DTV)
Mobile DTV, which is a special signal transmitted along with a TV
station's terrestrial over-the-air broadcast, is now ramping up at TV broadcast
stations across the country. In most cases, the mobile TV programs are the same
as those transmitted by local TV broadcast stations, utilizing a portion of the
same channel used for regular HDTV broadcast.
According to the OMVC, more than 60 TV stations around the
country have already upgraded to offer the new services, including Austin's
KVUE -- which is demonstrating Mobile DTV this week and its ability to serve as a
local news resource.
Nationwide, local broadcasters are are planning to offer a wide
variety of TV shows and sporting events, along with real-time news, weather and
"Television can be much more than the traditional experience
of engaging with your 'big screen' in
the living room. To that end, we're very
excited about the potential that Mobile DTV broadcasts will bring to our
viewers," said Patti C. Smith, KVUE-TV in Austin president. "We know that our viewers will appreciate the
convenience that Mobile DTV offers, meeting their needs for immediacy and transportability. Consequently, advertisers will also be
interested in the potential for reaching far more viewers now that digital TV
will be available anywhere a consumer travels in the viewing area."
Other stations in and around the Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth markets have also started transmitting the new services, according to the
"One of the most valuable services our member stations provide is
the delivery of timely news and information to viewers. Now, if the weather turns bad, real-time reports
can be with you wherever you go. Broadcasters throughout Texas are keenly
interested in reaching new audiences outside the home, and Mobile DTV will
deliver more viewers as new devices begin to reach the market," said Ann
Arnold, Texas Association of Broadcasters president.
A complete list of stations now transmitting in Mobile DTV is
available on the website of the OMVC, which represents more than
900 TV stations throughout the country.
More than two dozen new products are slated for introduction this
year for reception of the new Mobile DTV signals, including a new line of RCA
portable TV sets that is being introduced this week through online sales.
Device capable of Mobile DTV reception include: tablet PCs, USB
receivers for computers, portable DVD players, and in-car receivers that can
supplement an existing "infotainment" system in a car or van for backseat
In a consumer survey conducted for the OMVC between May and
October 2010, nearly 350 consumers were given "hands on" opportunities to use
Mobile DTV on prototype cellphones, netbooks and a new DVD player equipped
with Mobile DTV capability.
The study showed strong consumer interest in Mobile DTV. While
free over-the-air service was a major positive with viewers, nearly half also
said they would be at least "somewhat likely" to subscribe to premium services
for a monthly fee.
By content type, live local news ranks highly, especially during
times of major weather storms or when breaking news unfolds. Local stations
were considered essential to the Mobile DTV viewing experience.
Most respondents suggested weekday afternoons as the peak Mobile
DTV viewing periods.
In addition, showcase research suggested that Mobile DTV will
result in a net gain in overall TV consumption, 94 percent of viewers reported
watching more or the same amount of TV as before.
The average daily viewer spent 50 minutes watching Mobile DTV and
tuned in more than twice during the day.