Its available now mobile platform comprises four field-upgradeable components: the Harris NetVX mobile encoding platform, Synchrony MNA synchronous mobile networking adapter, Apex M2X exciter and the Roundbox Server. Also being shown in Las Vegas are a suite of mobile DTV services and widgets.
Mobile DTV is shaping up as one of the big stories at NAB, and Harris Broadcast is highlighting its leadership in ATSC Mobile DTV at the 2009 NAB Show with a demonstration of the first deployable mobile-DTV solution, the introduction of unique software options, and real-world technology demos from two broadcasters currently using the Harris MPH platform for ATSC Mobile DTV.
“Harris is uniquely positioned with a proven, deployment-ready, end-to-end technology platform and complementary software and services enabling broadcasters to launch new mobile-DTV businesses today,” says Tim Thorsteinson, president of Harris Broadcast Communications.”
The Harris MPH platform for ATSC Mobile DTV consists of four field-upgradeable components: the Harris NetVX mobile encoding platform, Synchrony MNA synchronous mobile networking adapter, Apex M2X exciter and the Roundbox Server — Mobile DTV. At NAB, Harris will be taking orders for these four complementary mobile-DTV components and shipping them within 30 days of the order.
Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s KVMY-DT Las Vegas is demonstrating the MPH platform, broadcasting three mobile-DTV channels and a program guide over the air to mobile-DTV receivers throughout the city. These mobile services will be multiplexed in the transport stream, along with the main HDTV signal. Harris will also conduct a low-power TV mobile-DTV demonstration broadcasting four mobile streams, two radio streams and an enhanced electronic service guide (ESG) OTA (on ch. 45) to assorted receivers in its booth, as well as in LG Electronics’ booth in the ATSC Pavilion.
At the show, Harris and its partners will go beyond typical equipment demonstrations to show a suite of mobile DTV services and widgets (software) that enhance the MPH platform with access to content and interactive capabilities. New services based on OMA-RME (Open Mobile Alliance-Rich Media Environment) enable video overlays on the main mobile content, which support interactive advertising; M-Commerce (or mobile-commerce) for purchasing transactions; and Nielsen and Rentrak audience measurement.
Harris will also show Mobile DTV widgets, developed by Roundbox, a provider of mobile broadcast software. “The mobile DTV widgets are software attachments on top of the channel-guide system that allow users to drill down into a tool bar for a list of news stories, photos, and more details,” says Jay Adrick, Harris Broadcast VP, technology. “Much of the content already resides on [the TV station or network] Website, and this brings that content to the mobile platform.”
Demonstrations will also include traffic-information overlays to local maps and emergency alerts (such as school closings, AMBER alerts, and weather alerts provided by iSet.)
Real-world tests of MPH are also under way. Jim Goodmon, VP-GM of Capitol Broadcasting Co., says WRAL Raleigh, N.C., is delivering mobile DTV to flat-panel displays on local buses, giving riders a chance to catch their favorite shows while giving WRAL a chance to monetize content with advertisements placed around the programming window.
“With the potential to reach 200 million cell phones, this means more over-the-air viewers, electronic signage, and a whole lot of things,” he says. “Broadcasters bring three things to the platform: bandwidth; relevant local content like news, weather, and sports; and ad-sales relationships.”