D.C. Market First to Get Mobile DTV Broadcasts

Washington, D.C. will be the first market where consumers will be able to view live, over-the-air digital TV broadcasts on a number of next-generation mobile devices, from cell phones to laptops. The consumer trial, announced Monday (April 20) by the Open Mobile Video Coalition at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, is set to go live by late summer.

Initial participants in mobile DTV trial are: Fox Television Stations’ WDCA-DT, Gannett Broadcasting’s WUSA-DT, ION Media Networks’ WPXW-DT, NBC Universal’s WRC-DT, PBS’ WHUT-DT and MHz Networks, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s operated WNUV-DT and National Datacast.

In addition to the Washington, D.C. consumer showcase, four TV stations in Atlanta and Seattle will become model stations for technical research and development of device interoperability.

The OMVC also announced that Dell Inc. is joining the list of prototype devices that can receive the DTV signals. Other companies that offer mobile DTV-equipped devices are LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Kenwood USA’s brand new notebook, the Inspiron Mini 10.

A total of 70 TV stations in 28 markets covering 39 percent of the U.S. TV households have committed to the rollout of mobile DTV, which promises to extend the reach of broadcast signals to the on-the-go consumer. The technology will also support many different services, including interactive video and pay services.


“Broadcasters recognize that the successful launch of mobile DTV will make broadcast TV practically ubiquitous. The beauty of the technology is that all parties involved stand to profit,” said David Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting Group.

Last week, WRAL, Capitol Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C. announced a venture with the city’s Capital Area Transit to broadcast its programming directly to its fleet of buses.