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  1. #1
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    Mobile DTV - What Sandy storm taught us

    Local Broadcast TV a Super Signal in the Super Storm
    11-09-12

    During the beginning of this month, it became eminently clear to millions of Americans in the Northeast that at least one part of the future can’t come soon enough.

    Hurricane Sandy was the latest example of how isolating a blackout can be – not just a power blackout, but an information one as well. As power was cut to so many people, with it went the ability to get news that they needed about their situation from their most trusted source – their local broadcast television stations. Without television, people were forced to look to alternate news resources as a backup plan. However, many found that their most immediate and ever-present media connections, smartphones and tablets, had failed them as well. The FCC estimated that 25% of cell phone towers within the 10 impacted states had been compromised during the hurricane, leaving signal strength and availability unreliable for those who needed it most.

    The ultimate answer lies right at our technological fingertips. It’s called Mobile Digital Television, and it’s currently being implemented in many markets across the country. There are 120 stations in 32 markets providing MDTV signals, and providers such as Mobile PCS are beginning to offer devices capable of picking up the signals. As time goes on, more and more devices will be added, more stations, and more markets.

    But what won’t be necessary are more cell towers. These signals are picked up by these devices directly from the broadcast signal. So there’s no need to worry about losing the cell signal like a dropped call. And Mobile DTV has no impact upon your data plan. In essence, your mobile device will be transformed into a television set.

    Let’s repeat that. (Stare at it for eight seconds so you remember it.) Mobile DTV doesn’t use mobile cellular service. It uses over-the-air TV signals only, formatted specifically for mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and laptops.

    What’s more, during events such as Hurricane Sandy, broadcasters weather the storm well. They never stopped broadcasting, even when absorbing a direct hit by a major hurricane. So viewers equipped with Mobile DTV devices won’t lose their TV news lifeline.

    That underscores the critical need for Mobile DTV as these events are becoming more commonplace (a result of major long-term weather effects such as El Niño, La Niña, and perhaps that global warming problem) and our growing expectation that media connectivity is indeed a necessity to survive. The service that stations bring to their community by doing their part to provide information is essential.

    FEMA’s Administrator Craig Fugate concurs, saying that “in times of emergency there is no more reliable source of information than that coming from local broadcasters.”

    Via Mobile DTV, these devices will also pick up the Mobile Emergency Alert System – a mobile application of the “Emergency Broadcasting System”. This will kick in during times of local need to provide updates such as evacuation routes and other practical information over the TV airwaves.

    There are many lessons that can be taken from that – not the least of them in spectrum regulation. In order to serve their communities properly, broadcasters need support from the federal government in guarding their signal bandwidth. Without these protections, the community will suffer during times of crisis when information is at a premium. It’s not hyperbole to suggest that lives would be threatened without the ability to reach people with breaking news when catastrophe hits.

    Mobile DTV’s importance might have been demonstrated to the government in another way this week as well, and this time, it’s in its own self-interest. People without access to their televisions would have a hard time following the coverage of the election returns. So even in terms of giving viewers on-the-go access to live results of the democratic process, Mobile DTV creates a bridge for its audience of citizens to witness their constitutional rights in action.

    With or without dire circumstances, it’s clear that Mobile DTV is more necessary than ever. While the most commonplace use of Mobile DTV will be for entertainment and everyday news, sports, and weather, it’s during the darkest hours that Mobile DTV will really shine.

    Broadcasters quite literally weathered the storm to make sure they served their communities. Perhaps Mobile DTV is just the latest tool that will further unite these United States.

    Source: http://www.tvb.org/4685/about_tvb/co...rticle/1298280
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    The problem with Mobile DTV is that not a lot of manufactures support the technology at the moment, and since this is targeted towards smart phones, rather than just a Mobile DTV device, most carriers would have the functionality disabled in favorer of using their data network for television broadcasts. This may sound unusaly, but most North American mobile carriers have the FM Radio functionality disabled in non iPhone/Blackberry smartphones for the same reasons.
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

  3. #3
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    Shaw Media might be interested in this for their Global stations since Shaw ain't a cellphone carrier. Bell will prefer selling a streaming service linked to their TV package using LTE or any cellular data technology for a pure profit purpose.

    Under this scenario, 5 americans and 5 canadians, equiped with a Mobile DTV compatible handset are stuck at a Winnipeg airport during a major storm. Everyone get one choice: CKND Global Winnipeg, get informed and not waste their data plan, the 5 canadians who prefer CTV must be Bell customers with a TV subscription at home and will waste their cell data. Now there are hundreds stuck at the airport, cellphones from many international carriers in roaming. Let's evaluate 2Mbit/s of video data for a hundred cellphones seeking data from the same cell tower. Yikes. That's why carriers are requesting to squat more frequencies, currently in use by digital television broadcasters. But Mobile DTV solves half of their problem... only to those customers equiped with that feature.

    On the bad side, there are no local CBC, CTV, Global or Citytv station able to perform local news coverage out of their allocated timeslots (5pm, 6pm, 11pm), since Toronto headquarters makes more money by simulcasting US programming than paying local news anchors for live breaking news.

    Mobile DTV uses 1.83 Mbit/s. In New York City, WNBC, WNYW (Fox), WWOR (MyNet), WPXN (Ion), WNJU (Telemundo) and many other independents are using this technology.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  4. #4
    If our greedy media giants can't make money off it, it won't fly here period. I'll be damned if I'm switching to Bell for my cell plan for the privilege of watching CTV on my phone.
    Not available on Bell TV
    Animal Planet HD
    Science Channel HD
    HDNET
    Speed HD
    Sun TV HD
    Cartoon Net HD
    Travel HD
    OLN HD
    AXS HD
    Encore HD
    Superbowl commercials
    Skinny basic Bell package and internet tv.
    Waiting for BluSky HDTV.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    12,204
    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    On the bad side, there are no local CBC, CTV, Global or Citytv station able to perform local news coverage out of their allocated timeslots (5pm, 6pm, 11pm), since Toronto headquarters makes more money by simulcasting US programming than paying local news anchors for live breaking news..

    This is ridiculously untrue.

  6. #6
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    May 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    Shaw Media might be interested in this for their Global stations since Shaw ain't a cellphone carrier. Bell will prefer selling a streaming service linked to their TV package using LTE or any cellular data technology for a pure profit purpose.
    The current ATSC M/H design has a "conditional access" built into it for a future pay model.

    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    On the bad side, there are no local CBC, CTV, Global or Citytv station able to perform local news coverage out of their allocated timeslots (5pm, 6pm, 11pm), since Toronto headquarters makes more money by simulcasting US programming than paying local news anchors for live breaking news.
    In theory you could have different a different broadcast on the Mobile DTV signal. All the ATSC M/H does is copies the 8VSB signal and sends it to a different modulator before its multiplexed back into the ATSC signal .

    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    Mobile DTV uses 1.83 Mbit/s. In New York City, WNBC, WNYW (Fox), WWOR (MyNet), WPXN (Ion), WNJU (Telemundo) and many other independents are using this technology.
    The stations in question are testing the ATSC M/H stander, as is the CBC at the moment, in Toronto you can receive CBC Toronto Mobile DTV via a digital sub channel from Radio-Canada channel coming off the CN Tower (I don't know why they're using Radio-Canada transmitter for the English ATSC M/H tests)
    "And Now for Something Completely Different..." - John Cleese (Monty Python).

 

 

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