Tech You Need to SeeShow will feature several demos of mobile DTV broadcasts 1/09/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
Among the technologies
being demoed at the 2012 International
CES this week in
Las Vegas, advances in mobile digital
TV, audio systems and UltraViolet offerings
promise to have a particularly
notable impact on broadcasters in 2012
Mobile Digital TV. In the run-up to
CES, about 120 broadcast stations in
46 markets have upgraded their facilities
to offer mobile DTV signals, notes
Anne Schelle, executive director of the
broadcast-backed Open Mobile Video
“ is the year when consumer
services are coming to viewers,” she says.
To promote those launches, all the
groups backing the technology—
OMVC, the Mobile Content Venture
(MCV) and the Mobile500 Alliance—
will be active at CES.
Shortly before the show, MCV—made
up of 12 major broadcast groups as
well as the Fox, NBC and ION Television
networks—announced that it had
cut its first deal with a wireless carrier,
MetroPCS, to offer MCV’s consumer
Dyle mobile DTV service.
At the end of the third quarter of
2011, MetroPCS had about 9.1 million
As part of the new deal, Samsung
will introduce a mobile DTV-capable
Android smartphone later in the year,
which represents another first.
“Concluding a deal with the fifthlargest
carrier and having the Dyle application
for our consumer service preloaded
on Samsung phones is a major
step forward,” says Erik Moreno, cogeneral
manager of MCV and senior VP
of corporate development at the Fox
The companies are not revealing the
cost of the service, pricing for the Samsung
phone or exact timing for the 2012
launch. Content will vary by market,
but in Los Angeles it would include Fox,
NBC, ION, ION Qubo, Telemundo and
Univision, Moreno says.
Stephen Jemente, product manager,
digital media and location-based services
at MetroPCS, says the carrier already
offers subscribers VOD, which
over-indexes in digital media consumption,
and that the deal to supply live TV
will help differentiate MetroPCS from
The agreement is also important for
broadcasters because a carrier deal
would eventually provide them with a
back channel of 3G or 4G connectivity
that would enable VOD and interactive
offerings sometime in the future.
Meanwhile, the Mobile500 Alliance
will be at CES demoing technology for
a national service and a consumer app,
says John Lawson, executive director of
the group, which represents more than
70 broadcast stations in 32 markets.
During CES, one of the Las Vegas
stations owned by Sinclair, which is a
member of the Mobile500, will broadcast
three mobile DTV channels with
content from The CW, MyNetworkTV
and Food Network.
In another notable demo, the station
will be showing how emergency alerts
can be delivered over mobile DTV signals.
Looking forward, the Mobile500
group is also planning a beta launch of
mobile DTV services in Seattle. Content
for that trial has yet to be determined.
Audio. High-quality audio often gets
short shrift in station upgrades, but
that is likely to change in 2012, thanks
to new government regulations and
consumer demands for better audio
on mobile devices.
Rob France, senior product marketing
manager at Dolby, notes that new
Federal Communications Commission
rules mandating compliance with the
Commercial Advertisement Loudness
Mitigation (CALM) Act by December
2012 will require content producers,
broadcasters and operators to pay
closer attention to audio levels at every
avenue of the TV industry, from content
creation to broadcast and multichannel
distribution. “There isn’t just one spot
in the content chain where you can address
the problem,” France says.
At the same time, France and others
note that broadcasters also need to improve
the audio quality of content they
provide to the Web and mobile devices.
“If the content is played with audio
levels used for TV on tablets with smaller
speakers, typically the dialogue can’t be
heard,” says John Griffin, senior director
of online media at Dolby, which offers
a number of solutions for maximizing
the audio quality for different devices.
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