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Mobile DTV Deployments Grow

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New tools to simplify the deployment of mobile DTV services, and some compelling examples of how the technology can be used, seem to be driving a growing number of mobile DTV releases.

Deployment of equipment to stations had been running at about 10 a month, but has increased in the last month, reports Jay Adrick, VP of broadcast technology for Harris Broadcast Communications and chairman of the Mobile DTV Forum steering committee.

With cost of the upgrades dropping to well under $200,000 and in some cases costing as little as $100,000, more than 85 stations have already deployed mobile DTV services. The Open Mobile Video Coalition is predicting that mobile DTV service will reach about two-thirds of the public in the next year.

The potential importance of using mobile DTV broadcasts for emergency alert services—a feature some PBS stations will be testing later this year— and the development of new advertising opportunities using mobile DTV transmissions are also encouraging stations to make the upgrade, notes Peter Mataga, CTO of Roundbox.

“It is still early days but once you have the infrastructure, it opens up some very exciting opportunities,” such as sending mobile DTV transmissions to displays on buses, a system Harris has already deployed in Raleigh, N.C. with WRAL, Mataga notes.

Mataga also sees that the Advanced Television Systems Committee will be finishing up a standard for the non-real-time delivery of content this summer and that Roundbox and others have already demonstrated a number of interesting applications of that technology, including the delivery of RSS news feeds and coupons to mobile phones.

“It really opens up a whole new world of advertising and interactivity,” Mataga says.