Broadcasters Push Vendors on Mobile DTV


The Open Mobile Video Coalition, a collection of station groups interested in developing and implementing a mobile TV system that works within the existing digital TV spectrum, has issued an "Open Letter to the Technology Industry" urging vendors to participate in the standardization of mobile DTV technology.

The group, which counts Belo Corp., FOX Television Stations, Gannett Broadcasting, Gray Television, ION Media Networks, the NBC & Telemundo Television Stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Tribune Broadcasting among its members, would like to see a single standard for mobile DTV emerge and avoid the type of time-consuming format warthat has plagued other new technologies. Specifically, it is encouraging vendors to participate in the ATSC's formal standards process that was announced in April and launched last month.

"The Coalition believes that one of the major threats to the successful and timely introduction and adoption of new mobile video products and services is a marketplace 'format war' among incompatible approaches," the letter declares. "In broadcasting, the AM Stereo debacle resulted in failure for all interested parties; fragmented approaches in other products -- such as for videocassettes (i.e. VHS vs. Betamax), rewriteable DVDs (i.e. DVD-R vs. DVD+R), and high-definition DVDs (i.e. Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD) -- may have significantly delayed or diminished consumer adoption. As such, the Coalition urges all interested technology companies to participate in the ATSC process - we believe that reaching a single open standard that fosters healthy competition and encourages consumer confidence and rapid adoption is ultimately in everyone's best interests."

Signees to the letter include:

Jack Abernathy
FOX Television Stations
Brandon Burgess
ION Media Networks
Jay Ireland
NBC Universal Television Stations
Ibra Morales
Telemundo Group
Roger Ogden
Gannett Broadcasting
Bob Prather
Gray Television
John Reardon Tribune Broadcasting Dunia Shive
Belo Corporation
David Smith
Sinclair Broadcast Group