CBS commits to simulcasting the Dyle mobile DTV service at four of its O&Os and has given permission to five affiliates to get on board. ABC has given the go-ahead to its affiliates in Dallas and Orlando. In addition, NBC has given its affiliate in Austin, Texas, permission to air its signal on the condition that it uses Dyle’s conditional access. For all that’s going on at NAB 2012, click here.
Fisher Broadcasting’s KOMO Seattle and Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP Minneapolis are set to debut test runs this spring of the Media 500 Alliance’s service to dongle-equipped iPhone and iPads.
Super Session “Mobile Video and Mobile TV — Beyond YouTube,” slotted for April 16, will be keynoted by Qualcomm’s Peggy Johnson and the panel will include Sinclair’s Mark Aitken, Mobile Content Venture’s Salil Dalvi, DVB’s Peter Siebert, Syncbak’s Jack Perry and MobiTV’s Cedric Fernandes.
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.
At last month’s CES, three technologies showed significant progress: connected TV, smart TV and TV Everywhere. It’s likely the three will converge. If so, they’ll arrive in one massive wave that could completely disrupt the way people watch TV — and threaten the way broadcasters do business. Broadcasters must figure out how to catch the wave.
The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show was overflowing with TV technology. For the creative, forward-thinking marketer there was an abundance of innovative ways to reach television-loving consumers, and TV broadcasters were squarely in that game with mobile DTV. With mobile DTV, marketers will have the opportunity to establish the deepest connection with consumers through the reach of television, their relationship with local news and entertainment, the interactivity of the Web and the intimacy of personal devices.
Broadcaster-owned MCV and Mobile500 showed devices and apps that they say consumers may use to receive their broadcast-based mobile services later this year. But neither had a launch date or particulars about programming. Meanwhile, Syncbak demonstrated its authentication technology designed to give copyright holders comfort that the programming TV stations put on broadband networks will stay in their local markets.
The unit, which attaches to the bottom of the Apple iPads and iPhones, contains a mobile DTV tuner and turns conventional earphones into a receive antenna that can pull in UHF and high-band VHF signals.
At next week’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, broadcasters will show off the latest developments in mobile DTV, including the app that MetroPCS will be using to market MCV’s Dyle-branded service and Mobile500’s new external dongle receivers that plug into iPhones and iPads and feature a virtual DVR. Other attractions for broadcasters at the exhibition will be smart connected TVs, OTT developments, voice-driven devices, tablets and ultrabooks.
Later this year, MetroPCS will offer a new Samsung smartphone with a mobile DTV tuner chip and telescoping antenna. Subscribers will be able to register for Mobile Content Venture’s Dyle service and watch “national and local” programming broadcast by TV stations. More announcements from MCV are forthcoming.
It’s looking like it will be at least another year before TV stations will be able to offer over-the-air programming to smartphones, tablets and netbooks. Much progress has been made, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. But broadcasters don’t have all the time in the world. They are in a competition with broadband. If broadcasters drag this out too long, the broadband carriers will come up with their own “broadcast” solution and broadcasters won’t get their chance.
While most agree that the new technology is vital to over-the-air TV’s success in the future, differences over copyrights, affiliate-network rights and relations still need to be worked out.
The Open Mobile Video Coalition finds that while stations in 48 markets will be ready to go, tablets, smart phones and other personal devices capable of receiving the signals will be not be available until well into 2012. OMVC is working on the necessary guidelines so that samples can be built and shown to retailers at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
The group of broadcasters promoting mobile DTV is ramping up its plans for a service that will be compatible with whatever the other major mobile initiative, Mobile Content Venture, develops. Mobile500 planners are proposing a joint venture with broadcasters that will develop and market 15-20 channels, including five or six local free channels, 14 or 15 national pay channels and a “hybrid” VOD service using the wireless broadband network, but fully integrated with the broadcast service in a single user interface.
The demand for mobility has been with us since the dawn of electronic mass media. Makers of receivers have been trying to pack more and more capabilities into smaller packages ever since crystal radios were the rage. And it will be the largest part of television’s future. Smart phones will gradually replace all the dumb phones and everybody with have a TV receiver in their pocket or purse. Broadcasters are in a perfect position to feed these personal TV sets — but only if they hang on to their spectrum.
In our April 14 story “Mobile DTV Poised for Its U.S. Premiere,” we incorrectly reported that stations belonging to the Mobile Content Venture jointly cover 40% of the country. The correct figure is 87%, according to MCV. The 40% mentioned in the story is the percentage that will receive MCV’s service by the end of 2011. And with today’s announcement of additional MCV markets, that figure has jumped to around 50%.
Counting the 20 markets from previous announcement, Mobile Content Venture has now promised to introduce the service in 32 markets by the end of this year. New markets on list include Seattle, Miami, Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis, Charlotte, Raleigh, Kansas City, Columbus, Las Vegas, Tulsa and Montgomery.
The country’s two leading proponents of the new technology, the Mobile500 Alliance and the Mobile Content Alliance, both reported considerable progress at this week’s NAB Show, enough to confirm their preliminary rollout plans for this year. And they discount talk that they are competitors: “We both use the same standards. We both want to deliver the content people want in the way they want to receive it,” says MCV’s Erik Moreno. Now it’s up to the cellular carriers to OK phones equipped with mobile DTV receiver chips.
Key partners include LG Electronics and its U.S. R&D subsidiary, Zenith, which will develop handheld mobile DTV devices to receive the new alerts and will provide funding for the project.
The importance of tailoring mobile DTV business models to meet evolving consumer needs was one of the topics at Monday’s panel on the new medium and potential revenue stream for broadcasters. Others include lessons from more mature mobile markets overseas and updates from representatives of the Mobile Content Venture and the Mobile 500 Alliance.
The prediction by the Open Mobile Video Coalition that mobile DTV will reach more than 71 million households — or 61% of all viewers in America — in the next 12 months comes as the group, along with ATSC and NAB, prepare to open the doors on the Mobile DTV Pavilion at next week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Pavilion will highlight new consumer products, applications and services along with technology demonstrations from major equipment providers.
Expway, maker of the technology enabling interactive mobile DTV, and Broadcast Interactive Media (BIM), a technology company specializing in revenue, content and technical solutions for TV websites, have partnered to provide targeted advertising to mobile DTV viewers.
Panels, papers, prototypes and ready-to-go technology exhibits on the emerging broadcast mobile market will be a big part of next week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas. Says ATSC’s Jerry Whitaker, “This is the year that broadcast stations want to put mobile on the air and are indeed acting on that.”
Two more stations are ready to transmit mobile DTV. Sinclair-operated WSYX (ABC) and WTTE (Fox) Columbus, Ohio, are now outfitted to transmit up to four channels of mobile DTV service.Ã¯Â»Â¿
As U.S. broadcasters prepare to launch mobile DTV services, they’ve learned important lessons from earlier, similar efforts overseas. First, it’s become clear that to succeed, a mobile service must include free content that consumers know and like at the time they expect it to be on. Then, it must also offer premium content, games and more.
An experimental license for a new system for mobile DTV transmission was denied by the FCC. The license was sought by WatchTV, a Portland, Ore., low-power TV concern headed by Greg Herman, also president of SpectrumEvolution.org, a coalition advocating for the new hybrid DTV/broadband delivery system. Ã¯Â»Â¿
NAB FASTROAD-funded projects develop small VHF, UHF antennas for mobile DTV receivers in cell phones and other devices.
The Mobile500 Alliance executive director says that TVNewsCheck’s Jan. 20 story on the Mobile500 Alliance’s “statement of principles” may have” created for some the impression of a level of discord between the Mobile500 Alliance and the Mobile Content Venture that doesn’t exist.”
TVNewsCheck picked the brains of some top broadcasters and analysts to see what the year’s important issues will be. For the first time in a long while, the general outlook was optimistic. Getting specific, here are nine things they will be keeping their eyes on: retransmission consent/reverse compensation, the FCC’s spectrum incentive auction, mobile DTV, industry consolidation, Comcast-NBCU deal ripple effects, signs of life in M&A, record off-year for political advertising, evolution of digital subchannels, publicly held station groups to pay dividends and local online and mobile media.
Nielsen, the market leader in traditional TV ratings, is having a tough time tracking eyeballs elsewhere. It has yet to offer advertisers an accepted way of measuring viewers who watch video on their home computers — let alone on portable devices. Although it is working on measuring video viewing on portable devices, Nielsen said it has no timeline for a rollout.
The Meredith CBS affiliate is installing a Thomson Broadcast mobile DTV system that includes a program encoder, a multiplexer and an electronic service guide (ESG) server and a compatible DTV transmission exciter.
Gary Shapiro, the president of the Consumer Electronics Association, uses his new book, The Comeback, to argue the importance of taking spectrum away for TV broadcasters and giving it to broadband providers. What he totally misses or ignores in his arguments is that broadcasters are moving rapidly to use their spectrum to introduce mobile DTV, a service that, by any definition, is innovative and, given the quality of the programming, more important than many of wireless gimcracks and geegaws shown at CES.
Ion Media Networks has committed to upgrading its stations to launch mobile DTV signals in the first quarter, a move that will make mobile DTV signals available in the nation’s top 10 TV markets within 60 says.
The Post-Newsweek stations in Detroit and Orlando choose Harris’ MPH ATSC mobile DTV system.
Digital security technology specialist Nagra-Kudelski will handle “conditional access” as the Mobile Content Venture outlines that and other technical details of its upcoming mobile DTV service.
The broadcast industry has been developing mobile digital TV for several years, and a small number of stations are on the air, but the platform’s availability remains limited. In 2011, the technology is expected to gain momentum as the Mobile Content Venture, a group of 12 major broadcasters, will be upgrading stations to start delivering mobile DTV in 20 markets covering more than 40% of the U.S. population.
A test of a single-frequency repeater in Washington this summer and fall indicates that it may be what broadcasters need to fill in coverage gaps in their mobile DTV service when they roll it out next year. “I’m cautiously optimistic,” says OMVC’s Sterling Davis (left).
The money will go to stations in 20 markets for the purchase of equipment so they can launch mobile transmission by the end of next year.