Mobile TV may have had a big setback recently with the closure of Qualcomm’s Flo TV. But many other there still believe there is a future for mass-market mobile digital TV services. The Open Mobile Video Coalition, the 900-strong broadcaster consortium, is one of them, and today the group took some steps towards creating a more complete ecosystem for its mobile DTV project: a number of new consumer electronics partners, including LG (SEO: 066570) and Samsung, that will develop devices to receive mobile DTV signals; and a preview of some 12 new mobile DTV products that will be launched at the CES show this week in Las Vegas.
Adding vendors to the group is a crucial step for the OMVC to make its service commercially viable. It’s still unclear how and if the group will ever work with mobile operators, especially since currently the mobile DTV services are all being touted as free (once you get the device to receive it).
The list of consumer electronics companies that will be joining the OMVC Mobile DTV Forum — as the new vendor group will be called — include Dell, Harris, LG Electronics, and Samsung Mobile.
Dell’s head of mobile products, John Thode, says in a release that his company will debut products with integrated mobile DTV receivers at some point later this year. The OMVC says it is looking to add more OEM members, and wants to extend the group to also include software, service and content providers.
Meanwhile, the CES show will feature a number of devices that will be able to receive mobile DTV signals. Some of these are new iterations of devices that were premiered last year:
— a handheld mobile DTV from LG, which it claims will offer the world’s first 3D mobile TV broadcast, with no glasses required;
— a 30-pin connector to enable DTV view on iPad and iPhone, from Valups;
— cioTV, a display aimed for viewing in cars made by Winegard;
— USB receivers from DTVinteractive and Hauppauge Computer Works;
— more iPhone Mobile DTV reception accessories, and Android-powered tablets from Cydle (pictured);
— mobile digital TV Wi-Fi stations from iMovee and Crestech;
According to the OMVC site, mobile DTV is already available in about 60 markets in the U.S. Broadcaster members include local affiliates for Fox, ION, PBS and NBC (NYSE: GE), among many others. In all it says that 16 out of the top 20 station groups are members.
The Mobile Content Venture, another mobile TV group that counts a number of broadcasters among its members, is also expected to make announcements during CES.