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LG, Samsung Agree to Develop, Promote U.S. Mobile TV Standard

The agreement calls for the companies to cooperate in order to assure rapid adoption by the ATSC.

Two of the major competitors for a U.S. broadcast mobile TV service have teamed up to propose a jointly developed standard.

TV Technology magazine reported LG Electronics and Samsung announced the agreement in advance of the first field tests for the ATSC M/H mobile TV standard, which was expected to be delivered to the Advanced Television Systems Committee this week.

The results, derived from the “Independent Demonstration of Viability” tests conducted this year, will help the ATSC determine the final standard. It hopes to roll out an M/H mobile TV standard in time for the analog full-power shutoff in February 2009.

The tests were conducted by the Open Mobile Video Coalition, a consortium of broadcasters and manufacturers promoting a mobile TV standard for U.S. broadcasters.

The agreement, signed in Seoul, South Korea, home to the two consumer electronics giants, called for the companies to cooperate in order to assure rapid adoption by the ATSC. The companies said that the technology for the jointly proposed system will reflect the findings of the IDOV.

We’ve reported that LG has teamed up with Harris Corp. to develop a standard it calls MPH; Samsung has partnered with Rohde & Schwarz on its own standard, A-VSB. The OMVC included a third standard proposal from Micronas and Thomson in the IDOV.

LG and Samsung are leaders in digital TV and mobile communications, said LG President and Chief Technology Officer Woo Paik. “Through this collaboration, we also have an opportunity to lead the North American mobile TV market.”

ATSC President Mark Richer said that the organization’s final decision will weigh heavily on what its specialist group determines is the best technology, regardless of proposal.

“Samsung and LG have not announced their joint technical strategy for the ATSC standard, they just announced that they have one,” Richer said. “I think [LG and Samsung’s] decisions will be based on the IDOV report and the conversations with our specialist group.”