Alan Weissberger Wireless

Will the new mobile DTV standard enable Mobile Video to succeed in 2010?

With the recent ratification of the A/153 ATSC Mobile DTV Standard, US broadcasters are able to deliver live video content to a broad variety of mobile devices. The standard is the culmination of a development process that took about two and a half years.

The Mobile Video Coalition said that at least 70 stations would begin broadcasting using the standard. Several electronics makers, including Samsung, LG and Dell, have produced prototype devices. It is first likely to be available on netbook computers, according to a report in Broadcasting and Cable.  According to the Coalition,  the new standard will also allow for "emergency alerts that can be customized by market or location, live audio feeds, data-casting with traffic maps, closed captioning, ‘clip casting’ sports and news highlights that could be stored in memory on a device, ‘push’ video-on-demand for future viewing, time-shifted television, mobile digital video recording, interactive polling, electronic coupons, targeted advertising, [and] an electronic service guide for ease of tuning."

Some observers now believe that mobile TV will really take off in 2010.  Broadcast Engineering magazine asks if mobile TV screens will eventually surpass living room screens?

The standard was devised for mobile phones, in part because watching TV on handsets has become common in parts of Asia. But so far, no wireless carrier in the United States has agreed to sell a handset with a tuner that can use the new standard. Targeted devices for mobile DTV include not only mobile phones, but also other handheld devices (including Mobile Internet Devices or MIDs) and in-vehicle entertainment systems.

Here are a few references for mobile video in the U.S.:

Opinion:  We think that a mobile Wimax operator like Clearwire or one of its resellers (SPRINT, Comcast, TWC) could partner with broadcasters to offer a combination of  Mobile Digital TV (using broadcast frequencies from about 400-700 MHz) and Internet video (using the mobile WiMAX spectrum, which is nominally 2.5 GHz in the U.S.).  There could also be streaming video on demand as well as downloaded videos available from 3rd party web sites.  That’s analagous to the Apple app store business model.  The key to success would then be to encourage device makers to build gadgets with multiple radios, e.g. a Mobile DTV receiver, mobile WiMAX (or 3G) send/receive, and possibly WiFi and/or GPS.

What do Viodi View readers think about this scenario?  Do you think Mobile Digital TV will take off in the U.S.?

Author Alan Weissberger

By Alan Weissberger

Alan Weissberger is a renowned researcher in the telecommunications field. Having consulted for telcos, equipment manufacturers, semiconductor companies, large end users, venture capitalists and market research firms, we are fortunate to have his critical eye examining new technologies.

6 replies on “Will the new mobile DTV standard enable Mobile Video to succeed in 2010?”

Between 2008 and 2014, the number of customers using mobile video services in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to jump fivefold to 534 million, making it the world’s largest mobile video market, according to Pyramid Research. But what about the U.S.?

Here are a few additional references for U.S. mobile video:

Here’s a comment from Venkat Eswara, from Motorola:

“Mobile video is in the early stage of market adoption but the future of viable mobile video services greatly hinges on resolving technology complexities, effective management of ecosystem and enabling compelling business models. With the explosion of video consumption such as YouTube and advancements in mobile broadband and broadcast technologies such as WiMAX, LTE, ATSC-MH, DVB-H, service providers can now enable compelling mobile video solutions to the end-users with personalized interactive services. We see fundamental shift of control to end-users so they get to watch the content in a personalized way – what they want, where they want and when they want.”

Venkat Eswara, Director of Marketing, Applications and Mobile Video, Motorola, Inc.

Note: Venkat presented at the STB 2009 conference earlier this month in San Jose, CA. Navin Mehta- Motorolla’s VP of Global Business presented the STB 2009 keynote talk on mobile video.

Mobile TV not likely to succeed in U.S. unless it’s coupled with a 3G+ or 4G like service and subscribers have devices with bigger screen sizes. Thanks though, for a very informative and well written article.

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