Broadcasters, networks, electronics companies to start Mobile Digital Television Trials


The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), an alliance of U.S. broadcasters committed to the development of mobile digital television, announced it plans to work with SES AMERICOM’s IP-PRIME to test two new mobile digital television technologies in separate consumer trials this year: the MPH (Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld) platform jointly developed by LG Electronics and Harris, and the A-VSB platform developed by Samsung Electronics, and Rohde & Schwarz, both of which have performed well in preliminary technical trials. The focus of the new trials is not only to perform additional technical trials, but also to test each mobile system with consumers, and to understand consumer acceptance, behavior and preferences regarding potential mobile television services and performance criteria.

Several test markets will be jointly selected by the OMVC and the leaders of each set of trials. A sample of consumers will be chosen to receive and test mobile video content that will be broadcast to mobile devices such as cell phones, personal media players and laptops. These consumers will be able to watch a selection of local and national content and interactive services, and their usage will be tracked to monitor and better understand their preferences. At the end of the trial, the OMVC and its partners will be able to predict consumer usage patterns and system performance to support the launch of mobile digital television services targeted for 2009.

“Broadcasters are focused on launching mobile digital television services in 2009, and these consumer trials are a critical component of our due diligence to determine the best way to offer mobile television to consumers,” said OMVC Chairman and ION Media CEO Brandon Burgess. “We are excited to be working with the leading networking and technology companies to further that understanding.”

Said Dr. Woo Paik, LG Electronics President/CTO: “We are enthusiastic about MPH’s capability to deliver over-the-air DTV signals of local and national content, as well as data broadcasting services, to mobile devices, in addition to providing full HDTV service using the existing ATSC transmitters and towers. The consumer trials we are planning to conduct will provide valuable consumer insights for both broadcasters and device manufacturers to launch the MPH mobile TV service in 2009.”

The consumer trials will further enhance the understanding of market-related issues on how to launch mobile DTV. Details of the trials are TBA.