LG, Samsung Team Up on Mobile DTV
Korean Firms Agree to Propose One System for ATSC Standard
By Glen Dickson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/14/2008 6:09:00 AM
Korean electronics giants LG Electronics and Samsung announced Wednesday that instead of proposing competing mobile-digital-television systems to the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the U.S. standard-setting body, they are teaming up to propose “their jointly developed technology as the North American technology standard for mobile DTV.”
The agreement was formally announced Wednesday at a signing ceremony at Seoul Plaza Hotel in Seoul, Korea, by Woo Paik, LG’s president and chief technology officer, and Jong Woo Park, president of Samsung digital-media business.
It comes just one day before the Open Mobile Video Coalition -- a collection of some 800 local stations that has been promoting the development of a U.S. mobile-DTV standard -- is due to submit its findings to the ATSC on field trials in San Francisco and Las Vegas of three mobile-DTV-transmission systems: MPH, the system proposed by LG and Harris; A-VSB, the system developed by Samsung, Rohde & Schwarz and Nokia; and a third system from Thomson and Micronas Semiconductor.
At the ATSC meeting last week, Mark Aitken, a Sinclair Broadcast Group vice president and head of the technical working group within ATSC that is leading the mobile-DTV-standard process, said the ATSC was on schedule to make a decision on the “physical layer,” or transmission system, for mobile DTV by mid-June. That most likely would have made either LG or Samsung the winner in the mobile-DTV-standards race, although theoretically, the Thomson/Micronas system is still in the running.
“LG and Samsung are already world-class in digital TV and mobile communications,” Paik said in a statement. “Through this collaboration, we also have an opportunity to lead the North American mobile-DTV market.”
The surprise deal eliminates the possibility of either LG or Samsung suffering a major loss to its Korean rival in the mobile-DTV-standards race, which seemed likely. Privately, ATSC members have suggested that one system was emerging to be clearly superior, although they wouldn’t identify which one. What is known is that the LG/Harris MPH system can deliver a single mobile stream at a slightly lower data rate than A-VSB -- an important consideration to broadcasters looking to juggle mobile TV with HD and standard-definition services.
“Our collaboration on North American mobile-DTV standardization will help to accelerate the ATSC standardization of mobile-TV technology, which will benefit both consumers and broadcasters,” Park said in a statement.
I have had a Samsung DTV for the last 4 years and today
when we tryed to turn the T.V. on it would turn off by
its self, we like the T.V. and everthing about it but,
it will not stay on . And yes we turned it off for about a minute. Do you have any ideas as to what is going on.
John Doshier - 8/28/2008 7:34:00 PM EDT
The problem isn't so much the screen size as it is the motion. ATSC "as is" cannot attenuate to keep up with the motion of mobile and handheld devices, even at walking speed. If you're stationary, you can receive DTV on one of those 7" TVs, or even on a laptop equipped with a USB port ATSC tuner (about $100 or less). But when you're on the move, don't expect to be able to receive a reliable signal. It will keep breaking up and going to black. That's why a new ATSC technology is required for M/H applications, not just to make it proprietary and more expensive (altho that might be considered to some a side benefit).
Victor Livingston - 5/15/2008 11:33:00 PM EDT
THE ANSWER: The smallest ATSC DTV receiver currently on the market on the internet is a 7" screen model. I could find no smaller sets on the market. The retail price is $250, rather steep considering that digital tube sets with a 13-iinch screen can be had for about $100. So again I ask: If they can make a 7" LCD ATSC receiver using current ATSC transmission standard, couldn't a manufacturer squeeze the existing tuner circuitry into a 4" or 5" display LCD set -- or is the 7" the smallest the current technology can accomodate? For interested parties, here is the link to the 7" ATSC set:
Adam Smith - 5/15/2008 12:28:00 PM EDT
Mike: Thanks for that, but I'm still confused. Wouldn't a very small screen digital TV work with the existing system? In other words, with the current DTV transmission system, how small a set is too small? I've seen digital TVs for sale with 7" screens. They work; why wouldn't a DTV "Watchman"? I thought the MH standard was so the signal could be carried via digital cellphone transmissions. But that's a separate issue from tiny screen digital TVs, isn't it? Thanks.
Adam Smith - 5/14/2008 7:38:00 PM EDT
Once the new ATSC-M/H (Mobile/Handheld) standard is available, broadcasters will be able to install upgrades to their equipment. Work is underway at transmitter makers for this using the draft versions. After the upgrade, a station would still have a traditional HD DTV signal, but it could convert one or more of its SD multicast channels to M/H. At that point, new phones, portables, gadgets, etc., would be able to pick up the M/H broadcasts by local stations. So--yes to tiny devices, but no to "as-is"; the station needs an upgrade.
Mike Bergman - 5/14/2008 3:43:00 PM EDT
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