Rentrak, Harris Interactive Tapped For D.C. Mobile TV Trial

The Open Mobile Video Coalition, the broadcast industry coalition pushing mobile digital TV, will work with media-measurement firm Rentrak and market researcher Harris Interactive to study consumer usage habits during the OMVC's Mobile DTV trial in Washington, D.C., set to kick off next month.
In D.C., eight local area television stations will transmit up to 20 channels of free and premium broadcast TV programming. Devices in the test are expected to include 300 Dell netbooks outfitted with Mobile DTV receivers, and Samsung's phone for Sprint with an embedded Mobile DTV chip.
Over the spring and summer, OMVC, Harris Interactive and Rentrak will use Harris's Web-based Early Adopter Community survey tool and Rentrak's Mobile Essentials service to measure and analyze consumer-viewing trends. Key metrics to be studied during the project include determining most active day parts, how long viewers remain engaged and what content genres are most frequently viewed.
OMVC plans to evaluate quantitative and qualitative usage for each of the selected device platforms, with the aim of understanding the factors that affect viewing rates, early adoption, usage of interactive services and inclination to pay for mobile TV services.
"One of the key advantages of Mobile DTV is the built-in ability to measure viewer activity, giving broadcasters a much better picture of what consumers are actually watching, when they watch, and where," Brandon Burgess, OMVC president and ION Media Networks chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "We've selected Harris Interactive and Rentrak to perform this important service with devices that have a return channel, and we anticipate that this window into consumer behavior will help us deliver more relevant information and entertainment to viewers who are on-the-go."
D.C.-area stations participating in the OMVC trial include WDCA-DT (Fox Television Stations); WUSA-DT (Gannett Broadcasting); WPXW-DT (Ion Media Networks); WRC-DT (NBC Universal); WHUT-DT (Howard University/PBS); WNVC-DT (MHz Networks); WNUV-DT (Sinclair Broadcast Group); and WFDC-DT (Univision Communications).
According to the OMVC, more than 30 TV stations are broadcasting Mobile DTV signals with more expected to go live over the course of 2010.
At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show last month in Las Vegas, the OMVC demonstrated several Mobile DTV-compatible devices, including those from LG Electronics, Dell, Korea's Valups and Cydle.