Kenwood Teams Up with LG, Harris on In-Car TV

Mobile-DTV Receivers Based on MPH System to Debut at 2008 International CES

Car-stereo manufacturer Kenwood created prototype in-car mobile-digital-TV receivers based on the MPH mobile-DTV system developed by Harris, LG Electronics and LG’s U.S. research-and-development subsidiary, Zenith, and it will demonstrate the devices at the 2008 International CES in Las Vegas next month.

Proponents of mobile DTV have cited in-car video as being one of the largest opportunities for local broadcasters to create unique value from their digital spectrum, and the move by companies such as automobile manufacturer General Motors and radio maker Delco to join the Advanced Television Systems Committee is indicative of the potential of delivering TV programming and data services to cars.

But while mobile DTV reception at highway speeds has been demonstrated on bus tours at trade shows, Kenwood is the first car-radio manufacturer to publicly announce that it is moving forward on such a product.

“At Kenwood, we have been watching the emerging market for mobile terrestrial DTV with great interest,” said Shoichiro Eguchi, president of Kenwood USA, in a statement. “With technologies like MPH paving the way, the in-car DTV market will be enormous. We are pleased to work with Harris, LG and Zenith on this breakthrough technology.”

Kenwood’s move is obviously a shot in the arm for the MPH system developed by Harris and LG, but the race to create a new mobile DTV standard for the United States is still wide open.

MPH’s main competitor is the A-VSB system developed by Samsung and Rohde & Schwarz. A-VSB demonstrated mobile-TV reception first, at the CES show last year, and some technology executives B&C has spoken with said the A-VSB system is farther along in its development.

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile-handset manufacturer, also formally joined Samsung and Rohde & Schwarz in promoting and developing A-VSB.

Both systems are being run through informal field trials this winter with the help of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, a large coalition of station groups, the National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV).

ATSC members said a selection of the transmission system that will be used for mobile DTV, if not the complete mobile-DTV standard, could come as soon as this spring.