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Local TV stations to tap mobile TV potential

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Apr 2008 23:59

Local TV stations to tap mobile TV potential An alliance of over 800 local television stations has formed with the goal of deciding an accepted standard for for sending local digital TV signals to mobile phones, laptops and other feature-packed portable devices. The Open Mobile Video Coalition made their plans known at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) meeting in Las Vegas. The local broadcasters view mobile TV as the next (third) medium to delivery their content.
Members believe that advertising on mobile TV, if it is to take off, could amount to a $2 billion market. Upgrades that would need to be made to television stations would be a relatively low $100,000, or less, and the technology being added to portable players may not be very expensive at all for manufacturers soon, meaning a horde of compatible devices could be on the horizon.

"You now have three legs of a stool, whereas, before, you just had one," said Jim Conschafter, senior vice president of broadcast for Media General Inc., which owns 23 network-affiliated stations reaching 9.5 percent of U.S. households. Local television stations have fought an increasing amount of cable TV channels and newer innovative services year after year.

Advertising revenue for the top 100 stations in the United States was down 17% in the fourth quarter of 2007. Currently, the newly formed coalition is testing three standards, and hopes to make recommendations to the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) next month. The next goal will be to have accepted one standard by the February 2009 digital television switch in the United States.

The three competing standards are MPH (Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld)(LG and Harris Corp.), the A-VSB system (Samsung) and a system developed by Thomson and Micronas.

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