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Mobile DTV Products Debut AT CES

Mobile DTV, the new free TV service for portables, is on display at International CES from more than a half dozen suppliers, who plan to ship their wares this year.

Mobile DTV differs from current ATSC TV broadcasts because it delivers clear reception even in motion. (See story above.)

On view in Las Vegas are new portable TV/DVD players from LG Electronics, Audiovox and Winegard; a notebook PC from Dell; and other products such as Mobile DTV dongles, wireless hot spots and car electronics.

LG will deliver this spring a $249 portable TV/DVD player with a 7-inch QVGA screen. It allows 2.5 hours of battery life in TV mode or 4.5 hours in DVD playback. Additionally, LG will show prototypes of cellphones and car TV products with Mobile DTV.

Valups will ship this spring a portable Mobile DTV “hotspot” that brings TV reception to devices with Wi-Fi. Called the Tivit, the unit is the size of a deck of cards and includes a Mobile DTV receiver that streams TV programming via Wi-Fi to a smartphone or other devices with Wi-Fi capability. A similar device is offered in Japan at $90 and is commonly used with the iPhone, said the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), which promotes Mobile DTV.

New PC dongles will also be available from companies including DTVinteractive and Pixtree. On April 1, Pixtree plans to offer the PTX-100 Mobile DTV receiver for use with laptops, desktops, netbooks and some mobile Internet devices (MIDs). The dongle is expected to carry a price between $90 and $110.

Dell said it will show at CES a prototype Inspiron Mini 1012 notebook PC featuring dual HD ATSC and Mobile DTV capacity.

Audiovox expects to ship in the first half a DT910 portable DVD player with built-in Mobile DTV (as well as a second unit with Qualcomm’s FLO TV, to be called the DLFO). Pricing wasn’t released at press time.

Audiovox also plans to show a prototype handheld TV incorporating both FLO TV and Mobile DTV.

Winegard will ship in the first quarter the Cio, a 10-inch touchscreen monitor with Mobile DTV reception powered by batteries or a 12-volt adapter. It also works with DVDs, iPod music and video, SD cards, USB drives for audio and video and other devices.

Concept Enterprises has begun shipping a $499 car Mobile DTV tuner that works with any aftermarket or OEM monitor with RCA outputs. The tuner is smaller than a BlackBerry phone and requires a 1-inch roof-mount antenna base.

Visteon will demonstrate a Mobile DTV rear-seat entertainment system for cars. Mobile DTV requires broadcasters convert to the new format.