Mobile DTV Goes 3D; iPad-Ready

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Mobile DTV (ATSC m/h) should get a better reception at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show than last year.

Mobile DTV goes 3D at CES, Gets iPad dongle
Winegard Cio with Mobile DTV
There’s plenty of sex appeal in the newest round of products—3D portable TVs, iPad tuners, Android tablets, plus a dongle to light up your car’s TV screen.

These devices bring you Mobile DTV’s promise of clear digital over-the-air TV delivered free to a portable or in-car screen. The only part of the promise that’s missing is a guarantee that you’ll have something to watch.

About 70 stations have converted to Mobile DTV, so the national coverage is still spotty. By the end of 2011, more stations are expected to join up and we may hear news of additional broadcaster commitments at CES.

On the hardware side, the selection is building. You can see the world’s first demo of 3D Mobile DTV (no glasses required) on a portable 7-inch tablet from LG Electronics at CES this week.

A hot product to ship in June is a Mobile DTV tuner that plugs directly into an iPad or iPhone with its own small, flexible antenna. It’s from Valups, which offered an iPhone add-on tuner last year but it relied on WiFi to communicate with the iPhone. This year’s version plugs directly into an iPhone or iPad.

Just prior to CES, RCA is showing several portable TVs and a car tuner that’s smaller than a deck of cards that plugs into a car TV’s video input to deliver Mobile DTV. The Pocket Mobile DTV car tuner is available now online at $119.

Another portable TV may be used in the car with a headrest mount. The Winegard Cio TV is making an official debut in Las Vegas as 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 in early 2011 at $799.

A 9-inch tablet from Enspert with MDTV will also be on hand at CES as well as Vizio’s 9-inch portable TV due to ship early this year.
And from Cydle is an Android tablet with built-in Mobile DTV. Details are vague but the unit will have a 5- to 7-inch screen.

Also from Cydle is a cradle that adds Mobile DTV and a battery back up to an iPhone. It uses WiFi to communicate with the iPhone. Cydle will also offer a USB Mobile DTV receiver that can plug into many devices such as notebook PCs.

Source: Open Mobile Video Coalition

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