Washington – In what is hoped to be a move to spur renewed
development of Mobile DTV broadcasts and receiving devices, the Open Mobile
Video Coalition (
) issued Thursday
comprehensive device profile guidelines to assist manufacturers in developing next-generation
Mobile DTV products.
The profiles are baseline technical guidelines that give
manufacturers details about how broadcasters will implement new services gated
by new conditional access security mechanisms requiring some form of Internet
back-channel connection. Two groups of broadcasters have requested the
conditional access technology be placed in Mobile DTV devices in order to evaluate
program viewership and eventually deliver pay-TV services, to better monetize
To date, only about 100 broadcasters out of 1,500 commercial TV
stations across the country have started broadcasting Mobile DTV services.
Mobile DTV advocates believe that more will follow once they feel they can
derive incremental revenue gain from the services.
The Mobile DTV device profiles were developed jointly by the
OMVC’s Mobile DTV Forum, which represents consumer device and broadcast
equipment manufacturers and software and middleware providers, and the OMVC’s
technology advisory group, which is made up of broadcasters from member
“As the concept of Mobile Digital Television becomes a commercial
reality, consumer electronics manufacturers need guidelines on receiver device
features and functionalities that will provide robust reception capability and
interoperability with broadcasters,” said Anne Schelle, OMVC executive director. “The end goal is an enjoyable and secure
Mobile DTV experience for our viewers.
We are looking forward to the introduction of both new programming
options and new personal devices that will take full advantage of the Mobile
Later this fall, Schelle said, the OMVC will initiate a model conditional
access system in the Washington D.C. market, to enable electronics companies to
test their receiver implementations that receive, decode, and display Mobile
DTV broadcast signals.
“Conditional access is a control system to protect content from
viewing by unauthorized parties, to permit robust audience measurement and to
enable potential subscription services,” Schelle explained. “Mobile DTV content
will be a combination of free viewing and paid viewing.”
The guidelines present manufacturers with two profiles of “likely
configurations” using the conditional access enhancements.
Both address elements that the OMVC said it believes are crucial
to Mobile DTV success: the addition of
conditional access, service/audience measurement and IP connectivity.
One profile represents a basic Mobile DTV receiver that can
receive broadcast transmissions and is interoperable with real-time linear
Mobile DTV broadcast services received by mobile devices.
A second profile is more advanced, with an enhanced Mobile DTV
receiver that includes all the basic elements plus many of the advanced
features and functionalities that consumers are expected to embrace — such as
the ability to watch subscription programs while “on the go.”
Because the OMVC anticipates some Mobile DTV services will use
service protection, both profiles require support for conditional access. In both cases, manufacturer registration with
required so that unique digital certificates (or encryption keys) can be issued
to each Mobile DTV receiver as it is made.
To date, broadcasters have only been able to make decisions with
audience estimates based on sampling techniques. With the new profiles, Mobile DTV’s new
service and audience measurement tools will enable broadcasters to identify
which channels are viewed and the duration and time of viewing for TV ratings
To facilitate operation of the conditional access system and the
transmission of service and audience data, the Mobile DTV receiver must offer
IP connectivity at least once every seven days.
This can occur over a wired Internet connection; via Wi-Fi; over a 2G,
3G or 4G cellphone transmission; or via USB or Bluetooth connection.
“Receiver guidelines are vital to manufacturers in assuring that
the Mobile DTV products we bring to market deliver the best consumer
experience,” stated LG Electronics’ Dr. Jong Kim, president of the Zenith
R&D lab. “The device profiles are important because consensus among
manufacturers and broadcasts about crucial features, compelling services and
advanced capabilities will be a key to Mobile DTV’s success going
forward.” LG Electronics’ Mobile DTV
chips are now in a number of commercially available Mobile DTV products.”
“We see tremendous value in standardizing the way devices and
receivers should behave in the field, ensuring the best possible user
experience,” added Itzik Klein, Siano Mobile Silicon marketing director. Siano is one of the companies providing
Mobile DTV chipsets. “We were privileged
to actively contribute to the formalization of the device profiles and we look
forward to working with the OMVC on promoting the adoption of Mobile DTV in the
believe the new device profiles will make the Mobile DTV viewing experience
even better, with second-generation products able to show subscription
programming that viewers will want to watch wherever they go. Consumers who have purchased battery-powered
RCA Mobile DTV products are using them now to stay connected and be prepared
for emergencies,” said Chris Lee, Digital Stream (RCA portable TV brand
licensee) sales and marketing VP.