Mobile TV in North America has come a long way in a year, says Harris VP of broadcast technology Jay Adrick. "A year ago, we had no standard, no commitment for receivers, a lot of loose ends, incomplete products, stations operating with pre-standard systems, no ESG," he said.
Today, by comparison, 36 stations are operating ATSC mobile TV channels on Harris' platform, 50 new systems are on order and the company has established tight partnerships with Nagravision, for monetization and conditional access, and Roundbox, for interactivity, signaling, ESG and non-real-time applications, to complete the product suite. With both Nagravision and Roundbox, Harris "collaborated on system requirements and architected system features from the ground up," Adrick said.
Roundbox, which recently acquired Jacked and incorporated its "social TV" technology into the Roundbox platform, is looking to help broadcasters evolve and deploy advanced services.
"The first step is publishing Web assets via broadcast in a very simple way: an RSS feed via a TV channel," said Doug Dominiak, Roundbox VP of product management. "For example, PBS' ‘Antiques Roadshow’ has a lot of data on the Web. The best way to get this in front of fans [of the show] is via broadcast, while they're watching TV."
News also can benefit from the additional content, Dominiak said. "There's always a lot of material that doesn't make the cut. [Using Roundbox's platform,] you can datacast clips, longer stories and auxiliary features," he said.
Although he declined to make further predictions about media convergence, Dominiak is confident that "when and if there's a convergent device, we'll be on it."
Harris Broadcast has actively advanced North American mobile TV from the beginning of the ATSC's efforts. In this video, Harris' Jay Adrick highlights the company’s end-to-end ATSC mobile TV solutions at the 2010 NAB Show.