Group promotes mobile DTV in education efforts

LAS VEGAS: A coalition of broadcasting industry groups and mobile device makers are conducting broad education campaigns ahead of the summer debut of mobile digital TV services in several regions.

LAS VEGAS: A coalition of broadcasting industry groups and mobile device makers are conducting broad education campaigns ahead of the summer debut of mobile digital TV services in several regions.

The groups want to make a range of audiences – legislators, local TV stations, the consumer electronics industry, wire services, and consumers – aware not only that the new service will be available, but also of how it can be used.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), an umbrella group of more than 800 broadcasters, leveraged the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show beginning April 20 for a series of events emphasizing the new technology. Device makers – Dell, LG Electronics, and Samsung – unveiled products at the event.

“The platform... is truly an interactive platform,” said Anne Schelle, executive director of the OMVC. “There will be a breaking news event and you'll be at a restaurant and... see everyone whip out a mobile device and turn it on.”

“At [the NAB conference], we wanted to help [stakeholders] understand that the infrastructure was now in place,” added Michele Clark, MD at OMVC AOR Brainerd Communicators. “An additional part was showing consumer devices.”

Meanwhile, the NAB is conducing outreach to policymakers at the Federal Communications Commission and in Congress, and local broadcasters. It is emphasizing the usefulness of mobile DTV broadcasts during an emergency, as well as the possible ad revenue to broadcasters, said Dennis Wharton, EVP of the NAB.

“This was not a hard story to tell... if you can get information on a mobile device about a tornado coming through a town... that is a good thing,” he said.

Device makers are also reaching out to explain their new offerings.

“[Industry groups] have been really aligned... in believing... that this is the next big thing for terrestrial broadcasting,” said John Taylor, VP of public affairs and communications at LG Electronics.

Washington, DC, will be the first market to receive the technology, and 70 TV stations in 28 US markets will launch mobile DTV service by the end of the year.

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