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CEA Forms Mobile DTV Group

Arlington,Va.— The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has formed a new special interest group to address A/153 — the mobile/handheld addition to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s (ATSC) broadcast digital television standards.

“CEA is organizing this Special Interest Group for ATSC M/H to assist the consumer electronics community in understanding the technology and market dynamics,” stated Brian Markwalter, CEA standards and technology VP. “CEA is excited to work with members to accelerate this innovative extension to our DTV system.”

The CEA said it is currently recruiting participants for the special interest group on M/H.

The ATSC is working to complete the new standard, called the ATSC Mobile/Handheld (M/H), which will allow digital television (DTV) broadcasts beyond the living room. The system will enable television broadcasters to use part of their signal to deliver services that can be received by handheld receiving units and receivers in moving vehicles.

The new CEA group will support the launch and growth of mobile digital TV in North America by fostering industry dialogue, educational programs, and unified messaging, and by promoting the development and use of technical standards and best practices documents, according to a mission statement for the body.

Plans are to “discuss the fundamentals of the standard, facilitate discussions with suppliers of technologies specified by the standard and arrange meetings with groups such as the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) to understand the broadcaster perspective,” said the CEA.

The OMVC was formed by U.S. broadcasters, representing more than 800 TV stations, to accelerate the development and rollout of mobile DTV services.
Commenting on the creation of the new board, Brandon Burgess, OMVC President and ION Media Networks Chairman and CEO, said: “Yesterday’s creation of a Mobile DTV Standard Group by the Consumer Electronics Association is a strong signal that we are very close to a full-fledged market for digital mobile television. We expect the CEA’s recognition of the potential and maturity of mobile DTV technology – coupled with the ATSC’s commitment to approve an M/H standard — to further accelerate the development of handheld devices, content and other applications. Consumers are even closer to having real-time, full-motion broadcast television on mobile and handset devices.”