CES 2008: LG Electronics Touts Mobile DTV

Displays MPH (Mobile Pedestrian Handheld) Prototypes Developed with Harris

Las Vegas -- LG Electronics unveiled prototype receiver products based on the new mobile-digital-television system it developed in partnership with transmitter manufacturer Harris at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show here Sunday morning.

The MPH (Mobile Pedestrian Handheld) prototypes -- which include a mobile phone equipped with an MPH receiver chip and antenna, a "personal DTV set" based on LG's existing personal navigation devices and a universal-serial-bus "dongle" designed for laptop use -- were demonstrated by LG president and chief technology officer Woo Paik and positioned as the highlight of LG's press conference here. That may be because LG's biggest CES news -- a new media device that will deliver movies from Netflix to the TV via the Internet -- was announced last week before the show.

But mobile DTV is a hot topic among broadcasters attending CES, and MPH is competing against A-VSB, a mobile-DTV system developed by Samsung, Rohde & Schwarz and Nokia, to be selected as the official transmission standard by the digital-TV-standards body, the Advanced Television Systems Committee.

LG and Harris are conducting bus rides that demonstrate the MPH technology in action here this week, which will be attended by members of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, the consortium of some 750 local stations that are promoting mobile DTV as a business opportunity for over-the-air TV. Harris chairman, president and CEO Howard Lance was on hand at the LG event, where he declared that MPH has performed well in recent field trials in Chicago and Washington, D.C., and that Harris would conduct more extensive commercial trial later this year that will include consumer tracking and feedback.

LG also announced that Nielsen Media Research is developing audio-measurement technology for the MPH system and noted that Kenwood is showing a prototype in-car display system based on MPH here at CES.

Lance is bullish that LG and Harris will bring MPH to market for actual commercial deployment by February 2009, when analog broadcasts will cease and the digital TV transition will be complete. Lance said the consensus among broadcasters is that mobile DTV is "a way to bring viewers back to local stations," and he is confident that Harris and LG will win the standards battle.

"We believe MPH is the best technical and commercial solution to provide digital television to consumers on the go," he added.

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