Amid the tragedy of the March Japanese earthquake and tsunami, one important technical aspect of the disaster have received little coverage -- the crucial role that the country's mobile DTV services played in providing emergency communications.
The Japanese mobile DTV system is tied into Japan's extensive earthquake warning system that monitors movements in the earth and they provided residents with warnings slightly before an earthquake is set to hit as well subsequent tsunami alerts.
Even more importantly, the system became an important method of conveying disaster information to the population after the disaster struck and many cellular networks crashed.
The Japanese mobile DTV broadcasts use a different standard than what is being deployed in the U.S. and many Japanese have consumer devices capable of receiving mobile TV broadcasts.
But its importance during the disaster has prompted the National Association of Broadcasters to add a new session at the 2011 NAB Show that will highlight the role that the technology played during the Japanese disaster and the technology's potential as a disaster and emergency warning and communications system in the U.S.
The session, which was organized by the Mobile500 Alliance and is being supported by Advanced Television Systems Committee, the Open Mobile Video Coalition and the Mobile Content Venture, ATSC, MCV, and OMVC, will take place on Tuesday, April 12 from 10:30 to 11:30 during the conference.