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WRAL Launches First Mobile DTV Broadcast

Raleigh, N.C. — Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL became the first TV station to launch a publicly deployed broadcast DTV signal to mobile devices, the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) said Tuesday.

Although no receiving devices are commercially available yet in the consumer market to take advantage of the broadcast, Capitol, a founding OMVC member, is using the signal as a demonstration of “the vast capabilities and commercial appeal of this emerging technology,” the coalition said. To start, the broadcaster plans to deliver the signals to local buses equipped with mobile DTV receivers.

Capitol has a history of being the first to launch new broadcasting technologies. It was the first to have an experimental license for HDTV and in so doing provided a test market for the digital transition. It also ran the first Mobile DTV field test in July 2008.

The OMVC said its members will use the upcoming 2009 NAB Show to release other big broadcaster announcements, Mobile DTV ecosystem demonstrations, interactivity and tracking.

Featured events will include: “Mobile DTV: The Power of Broadcast on the Go,” a breakfast Super Session (April 20, 7:30 a.m. with host Liz Claman of NBC).

Mobile DTV is based on the emerging ATSC Mobile DTV Standard and allows broadcasters to allocate a portion of their digital channel capacity to reach viewers outside the home. The OMVC said the Raleigh project demonstrates the viability of mobile DTV as broadcasters explore ways to tap the promising market for mobile television.