Monday, April 20, 2009

Free Mobile DTV Goes To Washington

Washington D.C. resident will get the first crack at checking out a new service that will allow free DTV broadcast to be viewed on mobile devices like cell phones, laptops and in-car entertainment systems.

As part of the new DTV transition slated for June some broadcasters will begin broadcasting over-the-air TV signals on a new digital sub-channel designed exclusively for mobile devices. This new broadcasting standard called ATSC Mobile DTV will allow national broadcast station like CBS, NBC, PBS, ABC and FOX to beam over the air single to any portable device. Allowing consumers to watch free TV in the palm of their hand.

According to an announcement made at the National Association of Broadcasters convention today Washington D.C. affiliate stations for CBS, NBC, PBS, Ion, and Fox will begin testing and broadcasting shows via the Mobile DTV signal later this summer. This initial trial is expected to help prepare new broadcasters for what the the NAB and Open Mobile Video Coalition will be a full deployment later this year.

According to Open Mobile Video Coalition, an organization that represents major broadcasters, there are 28 television markets, broadcasting to 39 percent of U.S. households, which have agreed to launch the free mobile digital television programming. Among the cities expected to launch the new service are New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Atlanta.

It is yet unclear what devices will be available to consumers during the trial period as there are only a few products with the special receivers needed for the new signals. Dell, LG Electronics, Samsung and Kenwood are all reportedly working on new devices. However Dell's prototype laptop was only introduced this week and while other consumer electronics products have been shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show and CTIA none have materialized.


  1. I've tried watching TV on mobile phones, but to have it in digital rather than analog would be absolutely fantastic. And it's free? Those lucky DC people, I'm so jealous.

  2. I could probably skip watching TV on my cell but a laptop equipped with a mobile DTV card might be nice.


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