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1st Mobile DTV Car Tuner Debuts At $499

The first market-ready Mobile DTV tuner for the car was shown by Concept Enterprises in a $499-suggested tuner due in early December.

Mobile DTV is a new TV format that streams the same local broadcast stations you receive at home to a portable or car device, and offers this free, without service charges.

A standard for Mobile DTV was just approved last month by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and proponents say the service delivers a clean signal without ghosting or pixilation even in a moving vehicle.

The first commercially ready Mobile DTV tuner was unveiled by Concept during the SEMA show earlier this month, although Kenwood has shown prototype models in the past.

Concept’s tuner will work with any after-market or OEM monitor with RCA outputs. The tuner is smaller than a Blackberry phone and requires a 1-inch roof-mount antenna base with a 6-inch-long antenna wire.

In the past, broadcast TV reception in the car has been limited. “Any time you moved over 20 miles per hour, the picture would break up and you’d get pixelation,” said Concept national sales manager Al Miller, adding, “With the new LG ATSC M/H chip, we can receive these signals.”

He added, “Especially since AT&T CruiseCast is no longer, people are looking for an inexpensive TV solution to get TV in the car. You get clean, clear reception of local broadcasting.”

The ATSC Mobile DTV standard allows broadcasters to use a portion of the existing 19.3Mbps DTV channel capacity to transmit data with very robust characteristics suitable for mobile, pedestrian and handheld products, said LG, maker of the Mobile DTV chips.

Broadcasters are testing or airing the service in 29 markets, expected to grow to 70 by the end of the year.