June 12, 2009
The following entertainment article was written for Spreety TV Online by professional journalist Carolyn Giardina.
Mobile Digital Television Is the Future
By Carolyn Giardina
The radio and TV industries are planning for the future, and National Association of Broadcasters president/CEO David Rehr recently outlined what that means for viewers.
“This mobile DTV revolution has already begun,” Rehr reported. “Mobile digital television will launch across 66 stations and 27 markets--covering 38 percent of U.S. television households--and more will follow.
“Television broadcasters are moving TV beyond the bedroom, living room or kitchen. That means watching ‘Lost' on your handheld media player or 'Heroes' on your cell phone. That means anywhere you are, you can access the news or your favorite shows. That's our future.”
In moving in this direction, NAB provided the seed money to support the Open Mobile Video Coalition—more than 800 television stations working to bring digital television to mobile and handheld devices.
Rehr also suggested that computer manufacturers produce upwards of 40 million digital TV screens each year, adding: “We, of course, currently know them as laptop computers. … Our Fastroad program is working with manufacturers and their sub-system suppliers on how to incorporate DTV reception in laptop computers--both the chip and the antenna--so receiving digital television will be easier than connecting to Wi-Fi.”
In the area of radio, Rehr reported: “We've been reaching out to U.S. mobile phone carriers to include FM chips in cell phones. This brings radio to upwards of 250 million devices in consumers' hands.”
He reported that Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile are offering FM radio-capable handset devices. “And we're working to get Apple on board as well,” he said.
Rehr noted that integrated FM receivers would give cell phone users access to the Emergency Alert System. “These announcements are relied upon as a lifeline for Americans during emergencies, and we're getting a great response,” he added.
Editor's Note: Since delivering the above report, David Rehr has announced his intent to leave the NAB and the position he held since December 2005. The NAB has formed a search committee to find a replacement.