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CES: MCV Partners With Belkin for Accessories

Complete Coverage: CES 2012

At the opening CES Unveiled press event in Las Vegas Sunday, the Mobile Content Venture announced that it will work with consumer electronics manufacturer Belkin on products and designs for accessories that will allow existing owners of smart phones, tablets and other devices to receive live mobile digital broadcasts from MCV's Dyle service.

The agreement is the second major announcement by MCV of new products in the run-up to this year's CES, where the consortium of broadcasters and networks will be demonstrating its Dyle Mobile TV service. Last week, MCV announced that it had inked a deal with its first wireless carrier, MetroPCS, and that Samsung would produce an Android-based smart phone with the built in capacity to receive mobile DTV signals.

"We have a lined up a carrier that will offer an embedded solution for receiving Dyle's live broadcasts and now we have an agreement with one of the best accessory manufacturers to create solutions for the existing installed base," notes Salil Dalvi, co-general manager of MCV and senior VP of digital distribution at NBCUniversal in an interview.

Brian Van Harlingen, chief technology officer at Belkin, notes that they were not ready to announce specific products, launch dates for the accessories or pricing, but are hoping to unveil some specific products by the end of the first quarter and that they would definitely be bringing products to market this year.

At CES they would be demonstrating a prototype system with an adaptor and earphone that could be plugged into existing iPhones and iPads. The ear-buds would plug into the adaptor and also act as an antenna that would receive the mobile DTV signals, notes Harlingen.

"It unleashes the potential of these tablets for viewing live TV," he says. "It has rock-solid reception for UHF and VHF signals."

"It is a very unique and innovative solution" that solves the problem of having to attach an unwieldy antenna to existing consumer devices, adds Erik Moreno, co-general manager of MCV and senior VP of corporate development at the Fox Networks Group.