Hundreds of TV viewers in the Washington, D.C. area are just a few days away from their first taste of a new broadcast technology that enables viewing of TV programs while “on the go.” For the first time, viewers will be able to watch local digital TV broadcasts on a variety of mobile devices, including specially-equipped iPhones, and iPads.
The Open Mobile Video Coalition’s Mobile DTV Consumer Showcase will begin on Monday, May 3 and continue throughout the summer in the Nation’s Capital. Compared to video delivered over wireless Internet platforms, Mobile DTV delivers always-on video at the highest quality and the lowest cost and is never affected by network congestion, claims Brandon Burgess, CEO of ION Media Networks and chairman of the OMVC (Open Mobile Video Coalition).
The Consumer Showcase will demonstrate how the U.S. digital TV system, now deployed in more than 1,600 stations across the country reaching 300 million Americans, allows each television station to simultaneously deliver a primary High Definition channel and multiple additional digital multicast channels to homes as well as multiple mobile digital television channels to “on the go” viewers.\
A collaborative effort by nine Washington-area TV stations and coordinated by the OMVC, the transmission of Mobile Digital TV signals brings the best of network and cable programming to viewers – including free over-the-air channels and subscription premium programs, says Burgess. The Showcase will also feature consumer interactive voting and polling, interactive advertising, advanced electronic service guides for program information, and transmissions of emergency alerts and closed captioning information.
The programs to be transmitted on the new service include a selection of free over-the-air local and network programs, as well as premium channels usually seen on cable or satellite.
Mobile DTV is delivered utilizing the same infrastructure as over-the-air broadcasts for home televisions,with special enhancements made to allow viewing on mobile devices. The technology has purportedly been tested in trains moving more than 150 miles per hour, with reception of transmitted signals. Approximately 45 U.S. broadcast stations are already sending Mobile DTV signals — and more are expected to sign on with mobile service in the coming months.
The Mobile DTV broadcast service will provide viewing quality of 416×240 pixels with 30 frames per second video, and 48Kbps stereo audio, an Electronic Service Guide with light interactivity for voting, rating, and messaging, as well as conditional access controls and audience measurement collection.