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MPH Developers Tell Community Broadcasters That In-Band Mobile DTV is Uniquely Suited to Their Needs


The developers of MPH™ in-band mobile digital television (DTV) told members of the Community Broadcasters Association that their innovative technology, which is designed to reach viewers on the move, has the potential to generate new revenue streams for DTV broadcasters in general and the nation’s community broadcasters in particular.

During a keynote presentation before the trade association of Class A and Low Power Television (LPTV) stations, representatives from Zenith, the U.S. R&D subsidiary of LG Electronics Inc., and Harris Broadcast Communications said that in-band mobile DTV may be an ideal fit with the community broadcasters’ business model.

“Delivering robust DTV signals to a new generation of mobile-portable-handheld devices is what MPH™ is all about,” said Wayne Luplow, vice president – HDTV standards and promotion, at Zenith. “Our highly flexible system maximizes broadcasters’ use of their DTV spectrum. LPTV stations will be able to offer between four and six mobile, locally oriented channels, which seems likely to give them a substantial competitive edge.”

“Local news, weather and traffic updates, sports and other local programming may turn out to be mobile DTV’s ’killer app,’” said Jay Adrick, vice president, broadcast technology, at Harris Broadcast Communications. “MPH™ in-band mobile DTV enjoys some distinct advantages over other delivery media, not the least of which is that it can be advertising- rather than subscription-based.” Adrick cited a recent finding by market research firm In-Stat that many consumers appear willing to tolerate commercials rather than pay more subscription fees for mobile services.

The MPH™ system capitalizes on the powerful combination of Harris Corporation’s expertise in broadcast systems — including transmitters, exciters, encoders and software — and the systems development, integrated circuit design and vast consumer electronics experience of LG Electronics and its Zenith subsidiary.

This in-band mobile DTV technology, under development for more than two years at the LG Electronics DTV Laboratory in Seoul, South Korea, and at LG’s Zenith lab near Chicago, builds on two key ATSC standards, also developed by Zenith: the robust Enhanced VSB (E-VSB) system and 8-VSB (Vestigial Side Band), the proven modulation system at the heart of the ATSC DTV standard currently used by more than 1,500 U.S. DTV broadcasters and in every DTV receiver sold in the United States.

To help commercialize its technology concepts for the broadcast industry, LG Electronics turned to long-time industry leader Harris Corporation. Harris Corporation’s extensive systems integration and research capabilities contributed significantly to the broadcast system’s development.

The overarching goal of the companies was to devise a robust, ATSC-compatible mobile solution for local broadcasters to maximize the use of their 6-MHz, 19.39 megabit-per-second digital pathway in providing a wide range of compelling and profitable consumer services. This meant maintaining the centerpiece application, digital HDTV, to the tens of millions of fixed receivers in U.S. homes, while simultaneously reaching viewers on-the-go with a low-bit-rate digital TV signal and data services.


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