The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said late
Monday, Jan. 4., that it will demonstrate new applications for broadcast
spectrum at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. NAB is working
in partnership with the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), a group of 800
stations that has been promoting mobile DTV, and Sezmi, a start-up that wants
to sell a new pay-TV service based on both DTV transmission and Internet video
and which has been negotiating with stations to lease some of their spectrum.
The announcement comes as the NAB is embroiled in a major
lobbying effort to convince the FCC and Congress that broadcasters should
retain their digital spectrum, and not be forced to give up some, or all of it,
for applications such as wireless broadband access. New applications such as
mobile DTV and multicasting services like Sezmi have been touted by NAB as
vital uses for the digital spectrum alongside broadcasters' existing
high-definition and standard-definition programming.
"Broadcasters are charging into 2010 working with innovative
organizations like Sezmi and the Open Mobile Video Coalition that improve the
quality, delivery and accessibility of broadcast content," said NAB president Gordon
Smith in a statement. "Such services represent the vibrant future of
broadcast-based services that will greatly benefit the public, and cannot be
replicated by broadband. Their foundation is the digital television spectrum."
NAB says it will showcase the new applications, including
demonstrations of mobile DTV and Sezmi's "Hybrid Broadcasting" model, at the
Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
That NAB is working with OMVC is not a surprise, as it has teamed with the
group to promote mobile DTV development before, such as collaborating on market
studies and mobile DTV demos. A formal relationship with Sezmi, which began
trialing its service in Los Angeles
last year and has yet to launch commercially, is new. However, Smith did
mention Sezmi in his testimony last month before the House Subcommittee on
Communications, Technology and the Internet, and said the company is "working
with broadcasters to provide a blended broadcast-broadband system that is a
more affordable, quality alternative to cable and satellite."
"Our breakthrough nationwide television service brings
significant new revenue opportunities to broadcasters while providing consumer
with competitive choice in television service," said Buno Pati, co-founder and
CEO of Sezmi, in a statement. "As we prepare for our nationwide rollout this
year, we're pleased to have the support of many television broadcasters paving
the way for more competitive consumer choices in television."