Lawmakers, regulators and broadcasters were on hand May 24 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to mark the official launch of the Mobile Digital Television Consumer Showcase.
Those assembled at the Knight Conference Center in the Newseum to witness the kickoff of the four-month trial saw a wide variety of consumer devices enabled with mobile DTV receivers, including Samsung phones, Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbooks, portable DVD players from LG Electronics and Tivizen Mobile DTV receivers from Valups.
Hundreds of consumers in the Washington, D.C., area are taking part in the trial, providing feedback on the devices and the service that likely will influence how mobile DTV service unfolds in the United States.
Launched in a regulatory environment that has seen the FCC raise the possibility that television broadcasters give back 120MHz of spectrum as part of its National Broadband Plan, the showcase will serve as a daily reminder that over-the-air broadcasting — which has long suffered declining audience numbers — may once again occupy a prominent place on the nation’s communication landscape.
“We want policymakers to see first-hand what hundreds of area consumers are experiencing here this summer," said Burgess, CEO of ION Media Networks and Chairman of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, which is sponsoring the showcase.
Nine area TV stations are broadcasting more than 20 Mobile DTV channels with dozens of programs that are now available throughout the Washington-Baltimore viewing area on Mobile DTV receiving devices. The showcase includes interactive consumer voting and polling, interactive educational content, "clipcasting" that delivers video on demand, interactive advertising, an electronic service guides for program information, closed captioning and emergency alerts.
Participating stations include: WRC (NBC Universal), WTTG (Fox), WDCA (Fox), WPXW (ION Media Networks), WFDC (Univision), WHUT (PBS/Howard University/Public Radio), WUSA (Gannett Broadcasting), WNVC (MHz Networks) and WNUV (Sinclair Broadcasting).