Could Mobile DTV be a hit with consumers? The first indication of how U.S. consumers will react to free over-the-air digital TV to portable (or car electronics) devices looks promising. People taking part in a Washington, D.C. test trial were asked how excited they were about the potential of Mobile DTV and gave the technology a rating of “7” out of “10” with “10” signifying “extremely excited.”
The results are from 150 viewers who provided more than 2,800 comments. People are watching the service multiple times a day and when they watch Mobile DTV, 2/3rd of the time they are on the go. News and daytime shows are the popular programs with the trial viewers who are using a Samsung Moment phone that is modified to receive Mobile DTV.
This week, people in the trial will start using a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook. In the future, an LG portable DVD/Mobile DTV player and a Tivizen add-on receiver for a smartphone or other devices from Valups will be added. The trial began in May with 9 broadcasters airing 23 stations.
Mobile DTV is a popular service in Korea and Japan but has yet to be proven in the U.S. The technology is expected to get a full commercial launch towards the end of the year once an archaic law prohibiting digital-only tuners is amended by the FCC, if all goes according to plan. Suppliers are also waiting to see more coverage by broadcasters who are now transmitting Mobile DTV in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago, Austin, Columbus (OH), Omaha, Los Angeles, San Jose, Fresno, and other cities, in addition to Washington, D.C. said the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) a consortium of broadcasters which is promoting the technology and overseeing the trial. (But some of the cities only have one or two stations).
Photo: LG’s portable DVD/mobile DTV player DP570MH