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Mobile DTV Takes Spotlight During NAB Show


The Open Mobile Video Coalition
(OMVC) took NAB Show spotlight to present the latest
development in the nascent broadcast technology for
handheld TVs.

The association charged with promoting products and
services using the ATSC A/153 Mobile DTV Standard
— the updated over-the-air ATSC-M/H broadcast system
that adjoins the ATSC digital television broadcasts
system for in-home uses — showcased products and
services that employ two-way back-channel support to
enable, among other things, premium TV programming,
and potentially glasses-free 3D content transmissions
and interactive feedback.

Two groups of broadcasters joined the OMVC in a
special Mobile TV Pavilion at the trade show to present
their own nuances to system, delivering different approaches
to device authentication for audience measurement
and gate keeping.

These include the Mobile Content Venture (MCV) and
the Mobile500 Alliance.

New receiving devices based on the ATSC A/153
standard were presented in a variety of different platforms,
from receivers for the car, portable TV products,
iPad accessory receivers and other mobile products designed
to bring the convenience of Mobile DTV services
to viewers wherever they go.

The MCV, currently representing 12 major broadcast
groups, will showcase its Dyle Mobile TV system and
service that will launch later this year on a range of devices,
including smartphones.

Dyle-compatible devices will launch in 2012 across
32 U.S. markets, reaching 50 percent of the population.
Consumers will be able to watch live broadcast programming
at launch, and there are plans for additional network programming and hardware to be added in the future.

The Mobile500 Alliance, which is comprised of 50
member companies representing 437 TV stations, will
demonstrate its next-generation end-to-end solution for
monetizing mobile DTV. This incorporates live TV and
recording of live TV, video on demand, social-media integration,
closed captioning and interactive advertising,
the group said.

As for device manufacturers, LG Electronics, in cooperation
with PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,
will demonstrate the Mobile Emergency Alert
System (M-EAS).

LG is the supplier of Mobile DTV receiving chips for
many products and M-EAS is a developing broadcast
system for delivering multimedia alerts that utilize video,
audio, text and graphics to mobile DTV-equipped cellphones,
tablets, laptops, netbooks and in-car navigation

The OMVC released at the show results of a viewership
study it commissioned through Rentrak showing
families with children to be among the heaviest users of
early forms of Mobile TV devices. The heaviest Mobile
DTV viewers (top 33 percent) had the highest percentage
of children living at home, while the lightest viewers
(bottom 33 percent) had the lowest percentage, the
OMVC said.

In addition, a 2011 survey of tablet users by Google
AdMob showed that 82 percent of respondents said
they primarily used their tablet while at home. With the
majority of tablet sales consisting of Wi-Fi-only devices,
Mobile DTV has the potential to extend the connectivity
and functionality of tablets outside of Wi-Fi hot spots, the
OMVC said.

MCV demonstrated the Samsung-made Android 2.3
smartphone operating on the MetroPCS cellular network.

Another MCV device is a Belkin dongle that plugs into
the 30-pin connector of Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Both
devices use an app to select local Dyle stations and view
electronic program guides (EPGs).

LG’s prototype device is an Android 2.3-based smartphone
based on the company’s Optimus Vu platform.
Like the Samsung-MetroPCS phone, it uses a Dyle TV
app developed by MobiTV. The LG phone also features a
5-inch diagonal high-definition screen.

Meanwhile, Siano, a provider of Mobile DTV broadcast
DTV solutions and receiver chips, will be exhibiting
cellphone devices outfitted with its Mobile DTV receiver
chips and middleware.

Crest Technology will show Mobile DTV-compliant
hardware and software solutions that can be adapted
for portable receivers such as tablet computers, car
navigation equipment and USB adapters. These include
Mobile DTV-ready front-end module embedded with RF
and baseband ICs with software A/V codec on various
portable product platforms such as tablet PCs.

DTVinteractive will show head-end solutions for broadcasters,
including a multiplexer module, a demodulator
module ideal for signal repeaters and a server-client
monitoring system.

— Additional reporting by Joseph