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NAB 2009: Washington to Host Mobile DTV Consumer Trials

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Related: Broadcasters Set Mobile DTV Test Markets

Las Vegas -- The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) will announce Monday at the NAB Show here that Washington, D.C. has been selected as the market for a consumer trial of mobile DTV technology, which will go live in late summer.

Fox Television Stations' WDCA-DT, Gannett Broadcasting's WUSA-DT, ION Media Networks' WPXW-DT, NBC Universal's WRC-DT, PBS' WHUT-DT, Sinclair Broadcast Group's operated WNUV-DT, MHz Networks and National Datacast are the initial participants, and the coalition expects to add more stations to the trial.

The feedback from the consumer trial, which will complement model stations for technical testing in Atlanta and Seattle, will help inform members about mobile DTV consumption as they prepare to deploy commercial services later this year. OMVC is expected to announce Monday that 70 station in 28 markets, covering 39% of the country, will launch mobile DTV this year, a slight increase from plans announced at CES in January.

The 21 charter broadcasters include Belo Corp., Capitol Broadcasting Company, Cox Television, Dispatch Broadcast Group, Fisher Communications, Fox Television Stations, Gannett Broadcasting, Gray Television, Hearst-Argyle Television, ION Media Networks, LIN TV Corp., Media General, Meredith Corp., NBC Universal, PBS, Post-Newsweek Stations, Raycom Media, Schurz Communications, Scripps Television Station Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Sunbeam Television.

The early launch stations are comprised of 16 NBC affiliates, 10 ABC affiliates, 12 CBS affiliates, six FOX affiliates, nine ION Television affiliates, nine PBS member stations, four CW affiliates and four MyNetworkTV affiliates.

"Broadcasters recognize that the successful launch of mobile DTV will make broadcast TV practically ubiquitous," said David Lougee, President of Gannett Broadcasting, in a statement. "The beauty of the technology is that all parties involved stand to profit. By establishing the consumer trial and R&D model stations, the broadcast community is essentially sending an invitation to device manufacturers: Come test prototypes, build out products and get on board this fast-moving value train that is mobile DTV."