Test viewers give Mobile DTV high scores


More than 2,800 comments about Mobile Digital Television service have already been recorded by the first group of DC-area viewers who have the first “hands on” opportunity to enjoy Mobile DTV, the new service now being broadcast with 23 channels of programming in the Nation’s capital. Managed by the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) and sponsored by LG Electronics and Samsung, the Washington Consumer Showcase is expanding this week to include Mobile DTV reception devices from Dell and then LG Electronics and Valups.

“Participants in the showcase are watching TV during carpool commutes, at work and when out with the kids.  In just a couple of weeks, more than 150 viewers have recorded their opinions about Mobile DTV technology and their viewing patterns.  The participants have become very engaged on this topic.  While this is just the initial feedback from Mobile DTV viewers, it is instructive to see how many viewers reacted positively to the potential of Mobile DTV.  We’ve had viewers praising the picture quality, and the flexibility Mobile DTV provides them,” said Aaron Heffron, Vice President of Harris Interactive.

In May, OMVC launched the Washington Consumer Showcase of Mobile DTV technology with a specially-modified Samsung Moment phone that can receive the free mobile broadcasts.  This week, OMVC is deploying prototypes of the first Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbooks with Mobile DTV for use by selected showcase participants in Washington, and future products to be evaluated during the Showcase include portable DVD players from LG Electronics and Tivizen Mobile DTV receivers from Valups.  All four devices are on display this week at CEA Line Shows in New York, where a local Mobile DTV signal is available from ION Media Networks.

The Washington showcase involves nine DC-area TV stations broadcasting 23 Mobile DTV channels with dozens of programs that are now available throughout the Washington-Baltimore viewing area on specially-equipped Mobile DTV receiving devices.  The showcase includes interactive advertising, electronic service guides for program information, closed captioning and emergency alerts.

Leveraging an online social media research platform from Harris Interactive, viewers are being asked to provide feedback through daily diaries, market research and focus groups. 

Among initial key findings:
Viewers say they are excited about the potential of Mobile DTV.  On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being “not at all excited” and 10 being “extremely excited”), initial survey participants rate Mobile DTV as 7.1.
Most viewing is happening “on the go.”  Nearly two-thirds of viewing (63%) is being done “on the go,” compared with 44% happening at work or at school and one-third (33%) of viewers saying they tune in from home.
Viewers are tuning in multiple times a day.  Just under half of viewers say they watch one or two times a day.  Just under 30% of viewers say they watch three or more times a day.
Prior to having Mobile DTV, one viewer reported that “I rarely turned the TV on at home prior to 8PM.  But now, having it available as I am waiting in line and hanging out at the park is great.  It’s especially great to know that I will have the most current info.”  Another viewer praised the public TV broadcasts for kids.  “I think it’s really convenient for those with small children.  My son loves PBS Kids and being able to keep him quiet while watching it is a blessing!”

News programming and daytime shows are proving to be popular.  “I have watched more news since I got this phone than I have watched in the last two years!  It’s nice,” said one participant.  Another viewer praised the picture quality on the small screen, praising the “good picture and amazing clarity for the size.”

TV Broadcast members of the Open Mobile Video Coalition are monitoring initial Consumer Showcase results.  In addition to stations in New York and Washington, TV broadcasters are now transmitting Mobile DTV signals in Detroit, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago, Austin, Columbus (OH), Omaha, Los Angeles, San Jose, Fresno, and other cities.