Mobile DTV Seems to Clear FCC

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In case you are wondering if Mobile DTV—free over-the-air-live-TV to portables and car TV– is still alive, the answer seems to be yes.
Fans of Mobile DTV eagerly waited to learn if the service would be killed before it got off the ground by the FCC’s Broadband Plan, submitted to Congress this week. But it seems that the FCC has left enough wiggle room for Mobile DTV to survive. (We’ll explain in a minute).
So now the problem for Mobile DTV returns to that of wrangling enough broadcasters to support it, as only 24 are now airing in the new service, according to the RabbitEars Forum. Although about 200 are expected to convert to the technology by the end of the year says Harris Broadcasting. The service also requires that the 20 odd suppliers that showed Mobile DTV-equipped portable, laptop, smartphone and car TV products at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, actually start to sell these products (that are due in late spring and summer). Please see this article.
A trade group supporting the Mobile DTV rollout, the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC)—may hold a conference call tomorrow so we should learn more.
The FCC recommended to Congress this week that TV stations should give up 120 MHz of spectrum for broadband Internet because Internet use is so high, the U.S. is running out of bandwidth. To help TV stations condense spectrum, the FCC plans to permit two or more stations to share a 6MHz channel and it plans to reduce the amount of space between channels that is reserved to prevent interference, according to a gross oversimplification of BroadcastEngineering’s reporting on the several hundred page FCC plan.
TV broadcasters remain committed to Mobile DTV and continue to roll it out, said the OMVC on Tuesday.
The Consumer Electronics Association noted that “The FCC’s Broadband Plan expressly identifies Mobile DTV as part of the broadcast TV environment and seeks to preserve ‘over-the-air television as a healthy, viable medium…’
At CES, portable products were shown by LG, Samsung, Dell, Audiovox, Vizio and others and these included a Samsung Moment cellphone and a $249, 7-inch LG portable TV/DVD player. Also car AV maker Concept Enterprises has a $499 car TV tuner ready for shipping and Vizualogic is planning a device.

Source: CEoutlook with a reference to BroadcastEngineering
Photo: Vizio MobileDTV product

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2 Comments

  1. In reading the FCC NBP there is a clear understanding on the part of its spectrum section authors that broadcaster transmitted Mobile DTV represents the most (not one of, not very, not highly…the MOST) spectrum-efficient means of distributing various content (Section 5, page 89, end of first full paragraph). To do anything to destroy that opportunity puts at risk the very basis for a national broadband plan – finding and expanding the efficient use of available spectrum.

    Speaking my mind…if the FCC proposes to handicap broadcasters and its ability to make Mobile DTV a success, they do so at the risk of denying Americans with the very benefits they espouse in the NBP. The elimination of spectrum required to provide such services by and through broadcaster Mobile DTV channels will be fought tooth and nail, within the broadcast industry, and at the grass roots level of the American viewing public. (IMHO)…

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