The new solution supports the Mobile500 Alliance business model while helping broadcasters get on the air quickly.
Harris Broadcast Communications today unveiled its next-generation ATSC mobile DTV (MDTV) launch kit to help expedite channel launches for broadcasters.
Harris says the solution meets requirements to support the advertising-supported business model of the Mobile500 Alliance, with applications for banner ad placement on program guides, channel-change advertising, audience measurement, and DVR-like capabilities to record and playback content.
The Mobile500 Alliance represents more than 430 U.S. television stations with plans to launch MDTV services. According to John Lawson, the Mobile500 executive director, the organization’s business model extends ATSC MDTV programming to new viewers and less-watched dayparts through support for more consumer devices. This includes its new MyDTV app, which enables compatibility with Apple iPhones and iPad tablets.
“Mobile500 speaks broadcaster,” Lawson said. “Consumers win because they get the ad-supported content they value, without a new data plan or monthly subscription. Broadcasters win because we create a platform for new advertising inventory that our sales teams know how to sell.”
Harris, a central figure in the development of ATSC Mobile DTV standards and technology, said it leads the U.S. market with more than 90 stations on the air today with MDTV. Its new launch kit includes “all hardware and software required to support over-the-air MDTV channels, pre-assembled and ready to plug into existing DTV transmitters,” it said. Components include the Harris Selenio media convergence platform for signal encoding, Harris Apex M2X software-defined exciter technology, and middleware from Expway to support program guides and other on-air services.
The solution also supports content protection through integrated conditional access software, and Harris said it plans to add Mobile EAS capability in 2013 to support emergency alerting for TV stations — a significant upgrade in the eyes of Lawson.
“Harris’ appointment as a reseller of Expway products to offer a seamless deployment of the MyDTV platform for Mobile500 member stations is a hugely positive development,” he said. “Harris has a trusted brand, a huge installed base at stations across the country, and a proven commitment to innovation in Mobile DTV. Their leadership in Mobile EAS is a big plus, and the integrated solution with Expway, a leader in Mobile DTV commercialization around the world, creates a highly attractive offer that will accelerate the commercial rollout of Mobile DTV by our members.”