Mobile Video Space Heats Up

Radio had better figure out a way to get its audio technology into mobile video for in-car and hand-held use.
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Radio had better figure out a way to get its audio technology into mobile video for in-car and hand-held use.

LG, Harris Broadcast and Kenwood are planning a technology demo of mobile video at CES.

Dave Glidden, VP of marketing communications for Harris, tells me the system is unique because it’s an in-band system for over-the-air broadcasters.

Make that TV broadcasters, although theoretically a station could choose to only air the audio, but the consumer would still need a special receiver to hear it. The in-car receivers are Kenwood’s part of the effort although LG and Harris are hoping their technology can be approved for use in cell-phone and other hand-held devices.

The all-digital system takes some of the bandwidth of the terrestrial service and allocates that to mobile service, he said. That’s why the mobile standard has to be “harmonized” with the fixed DTV standard.

Harris has been working with LG and its Zenith Labs for over a year to test the system on about seven TV stations to ensure it doesn’t interfere with over-the-air TV reception.

Three mobile video standards are competing at the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the TV version of the NRSC, according to Glidden.

This demo is more advanced than one held at the spring NAB, Glidden said, because it will involve chip-based devices, rather than engineering prototypes.

Assuming its standard is approved, conceivably the necessary equipment — such as the exciter, video encoding multiplexer and receiver — could be on the market later in 2008.

Why is mobile video technology so important to television broadcasters? To extend their audience. Yes, by apparently chipping away at radio’s audience in the car, unless Ibiquity gets its chipset shrunk down quick.

And unlike Sirius animation offerings, these guys are talking about full-motion video, to be demoed at the spring NAB.


Mobile Video

Kenwood has created prototype terrestrial DTV receivers based on the MPH (Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld) in-band mobile DTV system, developed by Harris, LG Electronics and its U.S. R&D subsidiary, Zenith.