Skip to main content

Harris Teams with LG for Mobile TV

Broadcast technology giant Harris says will officially unveil at NAB 2007 a new mobile digital TV system it has developed with Korean consumer electronics manufacturer LG Electronics and demonstrate the technology on the show floor.

The mobile DTV system, called “MPH” for “Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld,” is an in-band system that will allow broadcasters to transmit a programming stream that can be received by mobile and portable devices alongside their existing high-definition TV programming stream, says Harris. It will be demonstrated in the Harris booth, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) “Hot Spot” for new DTV technology, and in live, mobile demonstrations throughout the NAB convention.

For years, broadcasters have been pushing for a way to provide mobile and portable TV service via the U.S. digital television standard, which uses a transmission scheme called 8-VSB. LG’s U.S. research subsidiary, Zenith Electronics Corp, the inventor of the 8-VSB system, developed a more robust transmission scheme called E-VSB that promised portable reception, but it hasn’t been commercialized.  Then Samsung and transmitter manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz developed another in-band system, called A-VSB, which they successfully demonstrated providing mobile TV service at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, in partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group. That system is currently being considered for standardization by the ATSC.

Harris, which makes DTV transmitters and exciters as well as many other types of broadcast equipment, announced it was getting into the mobile DTV game back in February when it referred to a new system called “Project Eagle.” While details were few, Harris VP Jay Adrick said the system had superior performance to A-VSB and was due to undergo high-power testing last month, with the end goal of submitting it for ATSC standardization. 

Harris has now disclosed that its technology partner on “Project Eagle” is LG and its subsidiary Zenith Electronics, and that the two companies will hold a joint press conference at NAB to disclose results of field testing under real-world conditions for mobile and handheld services. It says that MPH is backwards-compatible with existing 8-VSB transmission equipment and will allow broadcast signals to be received at high speed using a single antenna.

“The results of our joint development with LG Electronics are in response to our customers’ interest in a compelling, in-band mobile solution,” said Tim Thorsteinson, president of Harris Broadcast Communications, in a statement. “The versatile, robust MPH system is the first that strikes the right balance for broadcasters looking to deliver both high-definition programming to fixed receivers and standard-definition programming and datacasting to mobile and handheld devices.”