The road to live broadcast mobile television has traveled through many twists and turns. After years of failed attempts from outside parties, particularly Qualcomm’s big bet on a nationwide mobile TV network, a group of major TV broadcasters in the US are finally gearing up to launch a beta of their own flavor of mobile TV.
Mobile Content Venture, a joint venture of 12 major broadcast groups, calls it Dyle mobile TV, based on the ATSC mobile DTV standard. A new slate of TV stations joined the effort today, bringing the total number of broadcast networks participating in Dyle to seven and total launch markets to 35.
“It is exciting to see the growing support from leading broadcasting groups — like CBS, and LIN — in making content available to millions of viewers who want to enjoy live broadcast TV from their mobile devices while on-the-go,” say Salil Dalvi and Erik Moreno, co-general managers of MCV. “The addition of these stations to our network brings even more momentum to our efforts. As an industry, we have all 7 major commercial networks participating in the Dyle launch. We look forward to growing and expanding the Dyle mobile TV national footprint, strengthening our offering in anticipation of our consumer launch later this year.”
The Dyle Mobile TV service is expected to launch later this year with more than 90 stations in 35 markets, reaching 55 per cent of the US population. The nationwide effort still has a long way to go, however.
While the country’s biggest broadcasters have gone through the agonizingly slow process of standards testing, trials and adoption, consumers have grown more accustomed to viewing mobile TV and video through over-the-top applications like Netflix and Hulu, among many others. Cable and premium TV providers have also released their own applications to extend their customers living-room experience to mobile devices under the loosely labeled “TV Everywhere” effort. So where do the broadcasters fit in now?
Like previous efforts from the stalwarts of US television, Dyle mobile TV will only work on devices packing a unique chipset that is capable of receiving the Dyle programming. No company has been able to convince a mass of customers to purchase such a device thus far, but there is a lot of money, research and future ad revenue riding on Mobile Content Venture’s ability to get these devices into the hands of millions across the country. LG Electronics, which co-developed the A/153 ATSC Mobile DTV standard, is demonstrating a new Android smartphone with Dyle mobile TV at this week’s National Association of Broadcasters’ convention.