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Granite To Test New Mobile Tech At KOFY

The broadcaster is partnering with Motive Television PLC to test Motive’s mobile service that would deliver signals to smartphones, tablets and other portable devices using a dongle with DTV receiver.

Granite Broadcasting is joining with London-based Motive Television PLC to develop a system that can be used to broadcast linear channels and VOD programming to smartphones, tablets and other portable devices.

In a joint venture, Granite and Motive will soon begin a testing the technology at independent KOFY San Francisco and other Granite stations.

Among other things, the Motive technology permits stations to broadcast movies and TV shows in non-real time to mobile devices that will record them for later viewing.

To receive the service, consumers will have to attach a dongle with a DTV receiver to their devices and download an app.

Granite CEO Peter Markham says that Granite has not “fleshed out” a business model. “We thought the concept was compelling enough for us to say, ‘Let’s develop this together. Let’s use Granite’s resources to test it … and use our people to think about applications for it.’

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“Once we’ve done that, we can figure out what the right best business model is in terms of how we generate revenue ….”

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Markham says that Granite is a member of the Mobile500 coalition that is trying to develop a mobile DTV service similar to Motive Television and the company remains committed to it.

The Motive joint venture is on a “parallel path,” he said. The big difference is the Mobile500 service is meant primarily for users on to go, while the Motive joint venture is aiming for iPad users in their living rooms.

Len Fertig, CEO of Motive Television, says that the company’s technology is already proven commercially, albeit in a non-mobile application.

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According to Fertig, Italian broadcaster Mediaset is using it to provide a wireless pay TV service to more than 300,000 subscribers throughout Italy. The Mediaset service is home-based with subscribers receiving the service via antenna and set-top box.

The Mediaset service comprises 40-50 movies per month and rebroadcasts of popular TV shows, Fertig said. It’s priced at €15 to €20 ($19-$26) per month.


Comments (4)

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Christina Perez says:

February 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Some smart cellphone maker will market a model equipped with the ATSC m/h mobile digital TV chip, thus offering FREE over the air local TV reception to buyers. It’s a marketing edge that cannot be resisted — unless the broadband greedsters totally co-opt broadcasters. As long as those mobile signals are out there in the free and clear — and the public will insist on THAT — it’s going to happen sooner or later. As for the antenna, I’m betting that some enterprising company markets an armband apparatus that uses the human body as key antenna “element.” Also, look for some electronics or watch maker to market a mobile digital TV wrist watch — talk about a “must have” gizmo. Again, SOMEONE is going to do this. And then all these schemes to turn local broadcast TV into pay TV will go down the toilet — as they should.

Matthew Craft & David K. Randall says:

February 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm

While I dearly wish Philly Phlash was right about this, the cellphone manufacturers simply will NOT install an ATSC chip inside a handset unless the cellular carriers ask/tell them to. And for the past 4 years the carriers have actively blocked the chip precisely because they reject the notion of free video being delivered to “their” customers without generating any revenue for the carriers. The sole exception of the Samsung handset being test marketed this year by the Dyle coalition and PCS Mobile, and the success of that venture remains to be seen. As for Phlash’s oft-repeated wish for a digital TV wrist-watch, nearly all consumer research suggests that screen size is too small to gain much traction with the viewing public. Although it may be the perfect medium for watching Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy movie.

    Christina Perez says:

    February 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Arthur, I agree with you. Those hand-held DTV sets with mobile DTV capability were introduced early last year by electronics marketers such as RCA, were never promoted, and now the product line has been quietly discontinued (with no notice from the trade press, BTW), for the very reason you cite. If the NAB and TvB would promote hand-held (or wrist-mounted) mobile TV instead of engaging in assisted suicide by promoting encrypted broadcast of local mobile DTV signals, broadcasters would be well positioned to keep broadcast TV the #1 video medium. Still think a 1-1/2 inch color screen DTV wrist watch would be a practical application, possibly even a fashion statement. And eyeglass monitors are now under development.

Jay Miller says:

February 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Granite is still in business???They can’t even do tv right and now they are branching off into something else.AMAZING!


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