Yesterday Ion Media, a broadcaster behind an effort to create a new way to deliver over-the-air broadcast television to mobile phones, announced a successful test of a new mobile digital television standard.

Yesterday, Ion Media, a broadcaster behind an effort to create a new way to deliver over-the-air broadcast television to mobile phones, announced a successful test of a new mobile digital television standard. Because when you have a laughably small number of mobile television viewers, you may as well try a different standard in hopes that it will succeed where others have failed. The standard, created by the Advanced Television Systems Committee, has succeeded in trials at easily delivering broadcast television to mobile phones, using existing spectrum. However, the content won’t be linked back to the Internet — this version of mobile TV turns your phone or other portable devices into a mini-TV.

The ATSC standard will compete with Qualcomm’s MediaFLO technology that AT&T and Verizon use to deliver mobile television to subscribers, but unlike MediaFLO, it doesn’t require a separate network to broadcast the shows. A group of broadcast networks, LG Electronics and Samsung are part of a coalition called the Open Mobile Video Coalition working with the ATSC to create a single standard for delivering mobile television to cell phones and other devices by 2009, when the switch to digital television is complete.

The ATSC plans to formally approve its mobile TV standard later this month. Chips and systems will be available before the end of 2009. Initial offerings are likely to appear in the automotive space. I have tons of questions about this service that I’m trying to get answered and will update y’all if any of the parties gets back to me.


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  1. I am pleased to see the interest in Mobile Television – but amazed to see that energy and time is being expended into developing yet another protocol when the T-DMB system is alive a d quietly expanding into markets all over the globe.

    Based on the extremely well proven Eureka 147 protocol that encompasses Digital Radio, Data, Broadcast Web sites and Mobile Television, it uses existing and well researched, cost effective components and systems available from multiple vendors.

    There are a wide variety of receivers – from Mobile Telephones, personal media players, in car units, GPS Sat Nav enabled units and soon Kitchen Radios and even Ghetto Blastsers that will display the Mobile images. Korea alone has over 13 MILLION DMB receivers in use!

    Whilst the USA is waking up and “smelling the coffee” it should be looking beyond its shores and taking up cost effective and exciting technology that already exists to deliver services that are far beyond those that currently exist in the US or indeed are aspired to.

  2. McGuire’s Law » Blog Archive » Enabling Technology: November 13, 2008 Edition Thursday, November 13, 2008

    [...] Mobile DTV [...]

  3. Can Heidi Klum Save MediaFLO? – GigaOM Thursday, November 20, 2008

    [...] Video Coalition (pushing a jointly developed LG and Samsung standard)  are seeking to develop alternate methods to watch TV on the go to avoid being beholden to wireless providers. The OMVC and it’s backers are branching out [...]

  4. Coming Soon: 2 Ways to Watch “American Idol” On the Go Monday, April 20, 2009

    [...] is miniscule. The Open Mobile Video Coalition is pushing a standard that will allow broadcasters to extend their digital television signals out to devices traveling at rapid speeds, which would result in free broadcast television for phones, televisions [...]

  5. Broadcasters Announce Plan to Use Spectrum Before They Lose It Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    [...] content, market resources and cash to get the venture off the ground. The initiative will use the mobile digital video standard developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC). Along with the broadcasters, LG Electronics [...]

  6. Yes I would like to know would Boost mobile ever get TV on them? If Boost Mobile ever get TV on It then maybe they will sale faster then ever. I would love to have TV on my Boost Mobile Cell Phone and If they do In what year will Boost Mobile have TV on their Cell Phone I say In 2012 Boost Mobile will have TV on their Cell Phone let me know what you think about that TV on Boost Mobile Phone.

  7. Broadcasters Keep Pushing the Mobile TV Boulder Uphill: Tech News « Friday, November 19, 2010

    [...] The effort by broadcasters to bring free mobile television (kind of like a mobile phone version of a Sony WatchMan) continues with a group of 12 broadcasters today announcing plans to upgrade TV stations in 20 markets so they can deliver live video to portable devices. The 12 are part of an effort dubbed the Mobile Content Venture (a name that is about as creative as my naming my brown teddy bear Brown Bear when I was two), which seeks to deliver free, broadcast television content to specially equipped mobile devices. All of this will be done using spectrum owned by the broadcast companies for delivering over the air TV and radios tuned to a standard pushed by the Open Mobile Video Coalition. [...]

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