You know mobile video is getting real when local TV finally gets involved.
Treading where only advanced cell-phone operators, Wi-Fi providers and other new media mavens dared to go, old-school broadcasters - that's right, local TV affiliates - will soon be transmitting their signals, ads and all, to mobile devices in their markets.
The new service, called Mobile Digital Television, is part of the new products local stations can offer now that they have deployed digital television technologies. The Open Mobile Video Coalition announced in mid-May it had selected the companies that would create a mobile video standard: It is a combined spec, called MPH, from a group led by Harris Broadcast Communications and LG Electronics, and another, called A-VSB, from a group led by electronics makers Samsung and Rohde & Schwarz.
Mobile Digital Television will rely on a relatively cheap antenna-and-chip set installed in mobile devices. The first units are set to hit American shores in mid-2009."This technology is going to let just about any broadcaster reliably and affordably place their content in just about any device," says Jay C. Adrick, vice president of broadcast technology for Harris. "And once running, it should spur some interesting marketing opportunities, since people will be able to take their TV right along with them."