CES 2009 – LAS VEGAS. The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) is showcasing its Mobile DTV (candidate) standard on a large number of stands at this year’s show. The coalition brings together some 800 US broadcasters, who hope to push free-to-air mobile TV by simulcasting their regular digital broadcast signals to mobile devices. The new service will be branded “Mobile DTV: Never Miss A Minute”.
Helped by a number of electronics manufacturers including LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Harris Corporation, the new standard allows broadcasters to use existing bandwidth and multiplexes to broadcast a mobile TV signal. It does not interfere with existing simulcast and SD or HD programme services. In the US, broadcasters are free to choose how to use their allocated digital spectrum and can opt both for simulcasting a number of SD services or transmit in HD.
The standard’s system architecture supports a variety of interactive functionalities such as push-VOD, PVR, pay-per-view, an EPG and transactional services using the mobile telephone network.
The US model is very different from the European approach with DVB-H, where it is mostly the mobile operators that are in charge. With Mobile DTV the broadcasters are in charge and consumers will be able to view regular broadcast signals and use interactive services independent of their mobile phone company.
Although an advertising supported service is likely to appeal with customers and broadcasters need additional outlets, it can be dangerous to exclude the mobile operators, as recent experience in the German market has shown.