The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) announced the broadcasting industry is on track to develop standards and launch services for mobile digital television in 2009. The group stated that recent Independent Demonstration of Viability (IDOV) trials showed that DTV-based mobile video technologies are feasible.
“We are on schedule for the 2009 rollout of commercial mobile DTV,” said Brandon Burgess, president of the OMVC and ION Media Networks CEO. “The mobile field trials are an important milestone in setting a standard for this incredibly promising technology, and our industry is pulling together in an unprecedented way to realize the promise for broadcasters and American consumers. I’m grateful for the leadership of OMVC members and our partners and for their help in realizing the vision of mobile DTV.”
The OMVC is an association of commercial and public television broadcasters representing over 800 television stations, which came together in 2007 to accelerate the development of mobile digital television. The opportunity inherent in this new technology is significant. A recent, comprehensive marketplace study projected a potential 2 billion annually in mobile digital television advertising revenue – if broadcasters move quickly. They must agree on a single standard by early 2009 – approximately the same time that TV stations in the U.S. must complete their transition to digital-only broadcasting – and begin rolling out mobile DTV services by the end of 2009.
The field trials were conducted in March and April in the SF Bay Area and Las Vegas. Additional lab testing will be completed over the next several weeks. OMVC is confident that it will complete the IDOV field and lab tests and have results available in time to meet the mid-May timeframe established by ATSC. The trials constitute a critical first step toward the ATSC’s adoption of a standard that will enable broadcasters to launch mobile DTV services that will effectively serve the American public. All data will be compiled and evaluated for a final report to the ATSC in May. Next steps will include further testing and consumer trials.