Mobile digital video getting field test


Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC) is pioneering in digital television again this week, with WRAL-TV Raleigh-Durham and the CBC New Media Group sponsoring a field test of mobile digital television (DTV) technology.

The test will demonstrate the new MPH system, which allows local broadcasters to deliver digital television to mobile devices including cell phones, laptops and personal media players.   The ATSC-compatible MPH system allows users to watch their favorite broadcast programs on the go—even when traveling in fast-moving vehicles.

“This is another exciting demonstration of the power of digital television. This is great for WRAL and for the industry as digital provides a complete viewer experience from crystal clear high definition television for the home to superb mobile quality for the car and handheld devices.  Mobile DTV broadcasting enables WRAL to better serve our viewers, communities, and advertisers by providing a strong combination of anywhere access, two-way communication, and mobility,” said CBC CEO Jim Goodman.

The Triangle field trials will be conducted July 21-25 in cooperation with LG Electronics Inc., Zenith and Harris Corporation — developers of the MPH system, which is a leading candidate for the new mobile DTV standard now being finalized by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.

Two channels of specially encoded video will be broadcast over WRAL-DT for reception by prototype mobile handheld receivers.   The test will demonstrate how consumers will be able to enjoy mobile DTV reception anywhere — in the car, in the backyard or on the move as a pedestrian. 

“In 1996, Harris worked with WRAL-DT as the first DTV station in the US.  Two years later, when John Glenn made his historic return to space, Harris worked with WRAL to conduct the first live HDTV broadcast of a space shuttle launch to audiences nationwide.  Today, mobile DTV is set to be the industry’s next big thing, and once again, WRAL is leading the charge — by working with Harris to deliver local news, weather and traffic information to North Carolinians on the go,” said Jay Adrick, vice president, broadcast technology Harris Broadcast Communications.

“‘First in Flight, First in Digital’ should be the motto for North Carolina, thanks to WRAL. The landmark mobile TV field trials in the Raleigh-Durham market this week build on WRAL’s long-time pioneering role in DTV broadcasting. LG Electronics applauds CBC for its vision and foresight, preparing now for next year’s commercialization of mobile/handheld DTV broadcasting,” said Dr. Jong Kim, president of LG’s US R&D subsidiary, Zenith.