Life is returning to the push to launch Mobile DTV—digital live TV for portable and car products.
A respectable bevy of TV stations will support Mobile DTV by the end of 2011, according to 12 broadcasters that have joined together in a group called the Mobile Content Venture. .
Last Friday, the broadcasters announced they will turn on TV stations in 20 markets by the end of 2011, which would bring Mobile DTV to more than 40 percent of the population. Listeners will get 2 free channels running NBC and Fox programming, which would be supported by ads.
The new stations will air in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Tampa, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Orlando, Portland, Cincinnati, Greenville, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, and Knoxville.
Until now, there has been relatively little activity in Mobile DTV. The only markets with several stations are Washington DC and New York City, we are told. So new Mobile DTV products (such as an LG portable DVD player or car tuners from NAV-TV and Accele) are limited to only a few markets.
Scattered around the country are about 70 stations airing Mobile DTV, according to the Open Mobile Video Coalition.
Meanwhile tuner suppliers keep readying Mobile DTV products– including models for the car– to be prepared when the market gains traction.
Winegard will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show its Cio TV, which includes a 10-2-inch touch screen LCD that plays DVDs and CDs and has a Mobile DTV antenna. It can link to an iPod or MP3 player and has SD and USB card slots. You get WiFi and 3G service to the device with a USB air card or dongle. It should be available early next year at $699 we were told. And a version without Mobile DTV will also be available. Winegard first previewed the products at CES 2010.
Update! NAV-TV which has been selling its MiTV mobile DTV tuner affirms that Washington DC and Baltimore are its two top markets presently, followed closely by New York City. “Like everybody vested in MDTV, we are anxiously waiting for more stations to come on board. Although we hoped that would be by the end of this year, it is looking more like mid to late 2011,” said VP OEM & Business Development Derek Schmiedl