Las Vegas –
are using this
week’s National Association of Broadcasters convention, here, to unveil mobile
digital television delivered as part of a “scalable full-channel mobile
mode” that will enable as many as 16 different video programs to be sent
in the bandwidth of a broadcaster’s 6MHz TV allocation.
The companies have proposed the enhanced system for
standardization to the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC).
Current TV broadcasters are required by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to offer at least one standard-definition digital
TV program in their 19.4Mbps broadcast bitstream.
Owners of other 700MHz spectrum, however, have more
flexibility. Harris and LG said their demonstration will show all terrestrial
broadcasters how to maximize spectrum use with a greater variety of TV programs
to reach mobile viewers “on the go” as viewing habits change.
To allow the feat, engineers have trimmed the main digital
program to enable a mere trickle of data — enough to advertise available
mobile programs on the service to in-home viewers. Most of the 19.4Mbps bitstream
in the 6MHz TV channel is then cleared for transmission of various mobile
programs, which can all be beamed from the same broadcast infrastructure.
“We realize there are applications for digital broadcasting
that go far beyond the services transmitted by TV stations,” stated Jong
Kim, LG Electronics U.S. R&D lab president. “Companies that own 700MHz
spectrum are beginning to ask how they might put the power of ATSC mobile
digital broadcasting to use, and we’re responding by creating a new method of utilizing
digital transmission to transmit even more programs. With our Scalable
Full-Channel Mobile Mode system, we can offer multiple programs for mobile
devices and a â€˜barker program’ that can be seen by in-home viewers.”
The Scalable Full-Channel Mobile Mode is said to be
compatible with the ATSC A/153 Mobile DTV Standard adopted by the ATSC last
“It will offer non-traditional broadcasters an effective way
to reach millions of mobile, portable and handheld devices,” the companies
Meanwhile, the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) continued
to beat the drum for the start of Mobile DTV broadcasting Monday by drawing
attention to system demonstrations and tests planned for the Washington D.C.
market beginning May 3.
system, which has been in development for several, piggybacks on the current
ATSC digital TV broadcast standard, allowing a portion of a broadcaster’s 6Mhz
digital spectrum to be used for transmitting standard-definition TV signals for
reception by handheld and mobile TV devices, including specially equipped cellphones,
netbooks, portable media players, and an adapter that can send Mobile DTV to
laptops, iPhones and iPads.
The May 3 Mobile DTV
Consumer Showcase will continue throughout the summer, the OMVC said, a
precursor to the full-scale broadcasts across the country.
The showcase will demonstrate how each television station can
simultaneously deliver a primary HDTV channel and multiple additional digital
multicast channels to homes as well as multiple mobile digital television
channels to “on the go” viewers, the OMVC said.
For the upcoming showcase, the coalition is coordinating a
collaborative effort by nine Washington-area TV stations to transmit Mobile
Digital TV signals to viewers — including both free over-the-air channels and
subscription premium programs.
The demonstrations will also include consumer interactive
voting and polling, interactive advertising, advanced electronic service guides
for program information, and transmissions of emergency alerts and closed
captioning information, the OMVC said.
Mobile DTV devices to be used for the showcase will include
a specially modified Samsung Moment mobile
phone, which uses Google’s Android platform;
Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Entertainment prototype
netbooks with Mobile DTV circuitry;
an LG Mobile DTV-enabled portable DVD player;
Tivizen Mobile DTV receivers from Valups, which
receive over-the-air Mobile DTV and beam it to an awaiting Wi-Fi device (such
as iPads, iPhones, laptops and other devices).
Starting in May, the OMVC Consumer Showcase will distribute
a limited number of Samsung Moment cellphones and Dell 10-inch netbooks.
Also this summer, the showcase will leverage feedback from consumer
focus groups using the LG Mobile Digital TV-ready portable DVD player and the
Valups Tivizen Wi-Fi adapter to fine-tune product and system development.
“The Consumer Showcase is a major milestone in the two-decade-long
effort by the broadcast industry to build the world’s most advanced digital
television system for the benefit of all Americans,” stated Brandon Burgess,
ION Networks CEO and OMVC chairman. “The U.S. DTV system already delivers the
world’s highest-quality video, and also transmits over 4,000 free television
channels across the country. Now with the introduction of Mobile DTV
technology, broadcasters can reach viewers not just at home but anywhere and
anytime — without needing new spectrum and without needing to build new
towers. The Consumer Showcase is a truly exciting demonstration of the types of
services that broadcasters will deploy across the country in the next few
years, bringing a new era of television to the U.S.”
During the Summer Showcase the nine channels will present 20
programs, including a wide selection of free over-the-air local and network
programs as well as premium channels usually seen on cable or satellite.
Viewers will find:
programming from WRC (NBC Universal);
local Fox programming from WTTG (Fox) and local
My Network programming from WDCA along with the Fox News Channel and the Fox
MSNBC, CNBC and other premium programming to be
announced on WPXW (ION Media Networks);
programming from Univision and additional
premium programming to be announced and sent from facilities of WFDC
PBS Mobile and PBS Kids shows from WHUT (Howard University);
local CBS programming and weather radar from
WUSA (Gannett Broadcasting);
Global News and information on MHz 1, and
premium programming to be announced and sent from WNVC (MHz Networks);
CW network shows, and entertainment/music shows
from This TV and TheCOOLTV from WNUV (Sinclair Broadcast Group); and
mobile television programming will be fed to the
nine stations and controlled at a new Mobile DTV Network Operations Center
(NOC) situated at the studios of WUSA-TV. As part of the Consumer Showcase,
tours of the WUSA NOC will be available by appointment to select members of the