Mobile television

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DMB in South Korea DMB Korea.JPG
DMB in South Korea

Mobile television is television watched on a small handheld or mobile device. It includes service delivered via mobile phone networks, received free-to-air via terrestrial television stations, or via satellite broadcast. Regular broadcast standards or special mobile TV transmission formats can be used. Additional features include downloading TV programs and podcasts from the Internet and storing programming for later viewing.

Contents

According to the Harvard Business Review, the growing adoption of smartphones allowed users to watch as much mobile video in three days of the 2010 Winter Olympics as they watched throughout the entire 2008 Summer Olympics, a five-fold increase. [1] However, except in South Korea, consumer acceptance of broadcast mobile TV has been limited due to lack of compatible devices. [2]

Early mobile TV receivers were based on old analog television systems. They were the earliest televisions that could be placed in a coat pocket. The first was the Panasonic IC TV MODEL TR-001, introduced in 1970. The second was sold to the public by Clive Sinclair in January 1977. It was called the Microvision or the MTV-1. It had a two-inch (50 mm) CRT screen and was also the first television which could pick up signals in multiple countries. It measured 4.0 inches (100 mm) x 6.25 inches (159 mm) × 1.6 inches (41 mm) and was sold for less than £100 in the UK and for around $400 in the United States. The project took over ten years to develop and was funded by around £1.6 million in British government grants. [3] [4]

In 2002, South Korea was the first country to introduce commercial mobile TV via 2G CDMA IS95-C, and 3G (CDMA2000 1X EVDO) networks. [5] In 2005, South Korea became the first country to broadcast satellite moblile TV via DMB (S-DMB) on May 1, and terrestrial DMB (T-DMB) on December 1. Although S-DMB initially had more content, T-DMB has gained much wider popularity because it is free and included as a feature in most mobile handsets sold in the country today.[ citation needed ] South Korea and Japan are developing the sector. [6] Mobile TV services were launched in Hong Kong during March 2006 by the operator CSL on the 3G network. [7] BT launched mobile TV in the United Kingdom in September 2006, although the service was abandoned less than a year later. [8] Germany had a failed endeavor with MFD Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland, who launched their DMB-based service June 2006 in Germany, but ended it in April 2008. [9] Also in June 2006, mobile operator 3 in Italy (part of Hutchison Whampoa) launched their mobile TV service, but in contrast to Germany's MFD it was based on the European DVB-H standard. [10] Sprint was the first US carrier to offer the service in February 2006.[ citation needed ] In the US Verizon Wireless and AT&T offered MediaFLO, a subscription service from March 2007 until March 2011.

Challenges

Mobile TV usage can be divided into three classes:

Each of these pose different challenges.

Device manufacturers' challenges

Digital television

North America

As of January 2012, there were 120 stations in the United States broadcasting using the ATSC-M/H "Mobile DTV" standard  a mobile and handheld enhancement to the HDTV standard that improves handling of multipath interference while mobile. [11]

The defunct MediaFLO used COFDM broadcast on UHF TV channel 55. Like satellite TV, it was encrypted and controlled by conditional access (provided via the cellular network). It required a subscription for each mobile device, and was limited to the AT&T Mobility or Verizon Wireless networks.

Broadcast mobile DTV development

While MediaFLO used the TV spectrum and MobiTV used cell phone networks, [12] "mobile DTV" (ATSC-M/H) used the digital TV spectrum.

At the April 2007 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Las Vegas, the ATSC and 8VSB methods for delivering mobile DTV were shown. Advanced VSB (A-VSB), from Samsung and Rohde & Schwarz, was shown at the April 2006 show. In 2007, Zenith Electronics, owned by LG, came up with 8VSB, which was introduced with Harris Group's) Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld (MPH) system.

As the broadcast networks began making their content available online, mobile DTV meant stations would have to find another way to compete. Sinclair Broadcast Group tested A-VSB in the fall of 2006. Their stations KVCW and KVMY were participating in the mobile DTV products demonstrations at the NAB show. A-VSB had worked in buses at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show.

ION Media Networks started a test station on channel 38, which was to be used for digital LPTV, which used a single-frequency network (SFN). In some areas, more than one TV transmitter would be needed to cover all areas. Mobile DTV could have been used at that time because it would not affect HDTV reception. A single standard, however, had to be developed. [13]

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, the first prototype devices from LG and other manufacturers were demonstrated, including receivers for cars from Kenwood, Visteon and Delphi. It was announced that 63 stations in 22 markets would debut the service in 2009. Gannett Broadcasting president David Lougee pointed out that many of those attending the inauguration of Barack Obama would likely hear him but not see him; had the new technology been in place, this would not have been a problem. [14]

In April 2009, the Open Mobile Video Coalition, made up of over 800 broadcast stations, selected four test stations: Gannett's WATL, ION's WPXA-TV in Atlanta, Fisher Communications' KOMO-TV, and Belo's KONG-TV in Seattle. WPXA had begun mobile DTV broadcasting on April 1. The others would begin in May. [15]

Later in 2009, ION said HDTV, standard definition and mobile DTV streams were now available using its affiliates in New York City and Washington, D.C. The "triple-play" concept was part of an effort to create a mobile DTV standard. At the time, only those with prototype receivers could pick up the streams.

ION chairman and CEO Brandon Burgess said mobile DTV lets stations "think beyond the living room and bring live television and real time information to consumers wherever they may be." [16] The Advanced Television Systems Committee started work on mobile DTV standards in May 2007, and manufacturers and sellers worked quickly to make the new technology a reality. The OMVC persuaded LG and Samsung to work together starting in May 2008 so that differing systems (possibly a self-destructing format war) would not delay or kill the technology.

Early in July 2009, the ATSC Technology and Standards Group approved the ATSC-M/H standard for mobile DTV which all members green-lighted October 15, though watching TV on cell phones seemed unlikely in the near future since telephone manufacturers did not yet include that capability. The technology was expected to be used for Opinion polls and even voting. [17] [18] By the end of the year, the ATSC and the Consumer Electronics Association began identifying products meeting the standard with "MDTV". [19]

Paul Karpowicz, NAB Television Board chairman and president of Meredith Broadcast Group, said

"This milestone ushers in the new era of digital television broadcasting, giving local TV stations and networks new opportunities to reach viewers on the go. This will introduce the power of local broadcasting to a new generation of viewers and provide all-important emergency alert, local news and other programming to consumers across the nation." [18]

Later in July, the first multi-station tests began in Washington, D.C., while single stations in New York City and Raleigh, North Carolina already offered mobile DTV. The OMVC chose Atlanta's WATL and Seattle's KONG as "model stations" where product testing could take place. Seventy stations in 28 media markets planned streams by the end of 2009. All of the stations would have two or more channels each, with "electronic service guide and alert data" among the services.

Twenty sellers of equipment would use these stations to test using the existing standard, but testing the final standard would come later, and tests by the public would happen in 2010, when many more devices would be ready. Manufacturing large numbers of the devices could not take place without the final standard. LG, however, began mass-producing chips in June. ION technology vice president Brett Jenkins said, "We're really at a stage like the initial launch of DTV back in 1998. There are almost going to be more transmitters transmitting mobile than receive devices on the market, and that's probably what you'll see for the next six to nine months." [20]

Devices would eventually include USB dongles, netbooks, portable DVD players and in-car displays. [20]

White House officials and members of Congress saw the triple-play concept in an ION demonstration on July 28, 2009 in conjunction with the OMVC. [21] [22] Another demonstration took place October 16, 2009 with journalists, industry executives and broadcasters riding around Washington, D.C. in a bus with prototype devices. Included were those who would be testing the devices in the Washington and Baltimore markets in January 2010. [23]

Progress

On August 7, 2009, BlackBerry service began on six TV stations. Eventually 27 other stations are expected to offer the service. By October, 30 stations were airing mobile DTV signals, and that number is expected to grow to 50. Also in the same month, FCC chair Julius Genachowski announced an effort to increase the spectrum available to wireless services. [18] Also in August, WTVE and Axcera began testing a single-frequency network (SFN) with multiple transmitters using the new mobile standard. The RNN affiliate in Reading, Pennsylvania had used this concept since 2007. [24]

Richard Mertz of Cavell, Mertz & Associates says VHF will not work as well for mobile DTV because a 15-inch antenna or some other solution would be required, although he has heard from people who had no problems. An amplified antenna or higher power for the transmitting station would likely be needed, as well as repeater stations where terrain is a problem. [25] Lougee, whose company planned testing in its 19 markets in 2010, said the chip designs with the new devices made targeted advertising possible. [23]

In December 2009, Concept Enterprises introduced the first mobile DTV tuner for automobiles. Unlike earlier units, this one provides a clear picture without pixelation in a fast-moving vehicle, using an LG M/H chip and a one-inch roof-mounted antenna. No subscription is required. [26] Also in December, the Consumer Electronics Association hosted a "plugfest" in Washington, D.C. to allow manufacturers to test various devices. More than 15 companies, and engineers from different countries, tested four transmission systems, 12 receiver systems, and four software types. [19] [27] On December 1, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said mobile DTV would be important to the future of all journalism, and he planned to offer TV and possibly newspaper content in this way. [28]

At the January 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, NAB head Gordon H. Smith disputed the idea that broadcasting's days were numbered, calling mobile DTV the proof over-the-air television would continue its popularity. He said people would use cell phones and other devices to watch, and broadcast technology would be the best way to do this. Wireless broadband, which some wanted to replace broadcasting, would not be able to handle the demand for video services. [29] ION's Burgess showed off one of the first iPhones capable of receiving mobile DTV, while ION's Jenkins showed an LG Maze, a Valups, and a Tivit; the latter sends signals to the iPod Touch and is expected to soon work with the Google Nexus. [30] Sinclair Broadcast Group director of advanced technology Mark Aitken said the mobile DTV concept of multiple transmitters would help free up spectrum for wireless broadband in rural areas but not large cities. He also explained to the FCC that mobile DTV was the best method for sending out live video to those using cell phones and similar devices. [31]

The OMVC's Mobile DTV Consumer Showcase began May 3, 2010, and lasted all summer. Nine stations planned to distribute 20 programs, including local and network shows as well as cable programs, to Samsung Moment phones. Dell Netbooks and Valups Tivits also received programming. [32]

On September 23, 2010, Media General began its first MDTV service at WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio and had plans to do the same a month later at WFLA-TV in the Tampa Bay, Florida area and five to seven more stations in its portfolio. [33]

On November 19, 2010, a joint venture of 12 major broadcasters known as the Mobile Content Venture (MCV) announced plans to upgrade TV stations in 20 markets representing 40 percent of the United States population to deliver live video to portable devices by the end of 2011. [34]

Brian Lawlor, a Scripps TV senior vice president said that in September 2011, Scripps stations would offer a mobile app allowing people with an iPhone or iPad to see emergency information (e.g. weather bulletins) in the event of a power outage. [35] In 2012, a number of stations plan to conduct tests of the Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS), a system to deliver emergency information via mobile DTV. [36]

In January 2012, the MCV announced that MetroPCS would offer MCV's Dyle mobile DTV service. Samsung planned an Android phone capable of receiving this service late in 2012. [37] At the end of 2012, Dyle was in 35 markets and capable of reaching 55 percent of viewers. [38] According to the home page on its website, "As of May 22, 2015, Dyle mobile TV is no longer in service, and Dyle-enabled devices and their apps will no longer be supported." [39]

At the NAB show in April 2012, MCV announced that 17 additional television stations would launch mobile DTV, bringing the total to 92, covering more than 55% of US homes. Included are stations in three new markets: Austin, Texas, Boston, Massachusetts, and Dayton, Ohio. [40]

In September 2012, WRAL-TV announced rollout of a Mobile Emergency Alert System based around mobile digital television technology. [41]

An OTT technology platform called Syncbak enables smart phones and tablets rather than TV spectrum. Syncbak has been deployed across the United States at 55 major station groups, including FOX and CBS affiliates. [42]

By early 2013, 130 stations were providing content, but adoption of devices such as dongles was not widespread. [43]

While traditional pay TV operators and broadcast networks still dominate the consumer television landscape, new options are emerging, from subscription video on demand (SVOD), to electronic sell-through (EST), to free TV streaming. While SVOD drives the most online TV streams by far, the incidence of consumers who used SVOD and free streaming in 2012 was relatively equal. According to NPD's "Free Streaming TV" report, released in February 2013, 12 percent of United States TV watchers reported streaming TV shows for free during the prior three months, compared to 14 percent who watched a TV show via SVOD. [44]

"Over half of the viewers for streaming TV are between the ages of 18 and 34, so the YouTube generation is evolving from short-form and user-generated content to TV shows and, like YouTube, they can watch where and when they want," said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "Despite the attention lavished on tablets and phones, an astonishing 83 percent of free TV streaming programs are viewed on a computer."

Market size

Estimated or predicted worldwide numbers of mobile TV or video users

YearSubscribersSource
Q4 20056,400,000ABI Research [45]
Q4 200611,000,000ABI Research [46]
Q4 200729,700,000In-Stat [47]
Q4 200875,000,000Visiongain [48]
Q4 2009
Q4 2010179,500,000RNCOS
Q4 2011271,000,000RNCOS
Q4 2014792,500,000RNCOS [49]
Q4 20161,430,000,000EMarketer [50]
Q4 20171,670,000,000EMarketer [50]
Q4 20181,870,000,000EMarketer [50]
Q4 20192,040,000,000EMarketer [50]
Q4 20202,190,000,000EMarketer [50]

Standards

Telecom

Terrestrial

Satellite

See also

Related Research Articles

Digital television television transmission using digital encoding

Digital television (DTV) is the transmission of television audiovisual signals using digital encoding, in contrast to the earlier analog television technology which used analog signals. At the time of its development it was considered an innovative advancement and represented the first significant evolution in television technology since color television in the 1950s. Modern digital television is transmitted in high definition (HDTV) with greater resolution than analog TV. It typically uses a widescreen aspect ratio in contrast to the narrower format of analog TV. It makes more economical use of scarce radio spectrum space; it can transmit up to seven channels in the same bandwidth as a single analog channel, and provides many new features that analog television cannot. A transition from analog to digital broadcasting began around 2000. Different digital television broadcasting standards have been adopted in different parts of the world; below are the more widely used standards:

8VSB is the modulation method used for broadcast in the ATSC digital television standard. ATSC and 8VSB modulation is used primarily in North America; in contrast, the DVB-T standard uses COFDM.

Digital Video Broadcasting open standard for digital television broadcasting

Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) is a set of international open standards for digital television. DVB standards are maintained by the DVB Project, an international industry consortium, and are published by a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Terrestrial television Television content transmitted via signals in the air

Terrestrial television is a type of television broadcasting in which the television signal is transmitted by radio waves from the terrestrial (Earth-based) transmitter of a television station to a TV receiver having an antenna. The term terrestrial is more common in Europe and Latin America, while in Canada and the United States it is called broadcast or over-the-air television (OTA). The term "terrestrial" is used to distinguish this type from the newer technologies of satellite television, in which the television signal is transmitted to the receiver from an overhead satellite; cable television, in which the signal is carried to the receiver through a cable; and Internet Protocol television, in which the signal is received over an Internet stream or on a network utilizing the Internet Protocol. Terrestrial television stations broadcast on television channels with frequencies between about 52 and 600 MHz in the VHF and UHF bands. Since radio waves in these bands travel by line of sight, reception is generally limited by the visual horizon to distances of 64–97 kilometres (40–60 mi), although under better conditions and with tropospheric ducting, signals can sometimes be received hundreds of kilometers distant.

The Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting is a Japanese standard for digital television (DTV) and digital radio used by the country's radio and television networks. ISDB supersedes both the NTSC-J analog television system and the previously used MUSE Hi-vision analog HDTV system in Japan as well as the NTSC, PAL-M, and PAL-N broadcast standards in South America and the Philippines. Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) services using ISDB-T started in Japan in December 2003 and Brazil in December 2007 as a trial. Since then, many countries have adopted ISDB over other digital broadcasting standards.

Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standards are an American set of standards for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable and satellite networks. It is largely a replacement for the analog NTSC standard and, like that standard, is used mostly in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and South Korea. Several former NTSC users, in particular Japan, have not used ATSC during their digital television transition, because they adopted their own system called ISDB.

Digital radio is the use of digital technology to transmit or receive across the radio spectrum. Digital transmission by radio waves includes digital broadcasting, and especially digital audio radio services.

Broadcast television systems are the encoding or formatting standards for the transmission and reception of terrestrial television signals. There were three main analog television systems in use around the world until the late 2010s: NTSC, PAL, and SECAM. Now in digital terrestrial television (DTT), there are four main systems in use around the world: ATSC, DVB, ISDB and DTMB.

DVB-H is one of three prevalent mobile TV formats. It is a technical specification for bringing broadcast services to mobile handsets. DVB-H was formally adopted as ETSI standard EN 302 304 in November 2004. The DVB-H specification can be downloaded from the official DVB-H website. From March 2008, DVB-H is officially endorsed by the European Union as the "preferred technology for terrestrial mobile broadcasting". The major competitors of this technology are Qualcomm's MediaFLO system, the 3G cellular system based MBMS mobile-TV standard, and the ATSC-M/H format in the U.S. DVB-SH now and DVB-NGH in the future are possible enhancements to DVB-H, providing improved spectral efficiency and better modulation flexibility. DVB-H has been a commercial failure, and the service is no longer on-air. Ukraine was the last country with a nationwide broadcast in DVB-H.

MediaFLO Media transmission technology developed by Qualcomm

MediaFLO was a technology developed by Qualcomm for transmitting audio, video and data to portable devices such as mobile phones and personal televisions, used for mobile television. In the United States, the service powered by this technology was branded as FLO TV.

ATSC tuner

An ATSCtuner, often called an ATSC receiver or HDTV tuner, is a type of television tuner that allows reception of digital television (DTV) television channels that use ATSC standards, as transmitted by television stations in North America, parts of Central America, and South Korea. Such tuners are usually integrated into a television set, VCR, digital video recorder (DVR), or set-top box which provides audio/video output connectors of various types.

Digital television adapter Type of television tuner to display digital signals on analog sets

A digital television adapter (DTA), commonly known as a converter box or decoder box, is a television tuner that receives a digital television (DTV) transmission, and converts the digital signal into an analog signal that can be received and displayed on an analog television set. Some also have an HDMI output since some TVs with HDMI do not have a digital tuner. The input digital signal may be over-the-air terrestrial television signals received by a television antenna, or signals from a digital cable system. It normally does not refer to satellite TV, which has always required a set-top box either to operate the big satellite dish, or to be the integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) in the case of direct-broadcast satellites (DBS).

E-VSB or Enhanced VSB is an optional enhancement to the original ATSC Standards that use the 8VSB modulation system used for transmission of digital television. It is intended for improving reception where signals are weaker, including fringe reception areas, and on portable devices such as handheld televisions or mobile phones. It does not cause problems to older receivers, but they cannot take advantage of its features. E-VSB was approved by the ATSC committee in 2004. However, it has been implemented by few stations or manufacturers.

MPH (Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld) was a mobile extension of the ATSC television standard jointly developed by Harris Corporation, LG Electronics, Inc. and its U.S. research subsidiary, Zenith Electronics. The MPH platform allowed local TV stations to deliver ATSC-compatible content to mobile and video devices such as mobile phones, portable media players, laptop computers, personal navigation devices and automobile-based "infotainment systems." The service is called "in-band" because local broadcasters are providing mobile TV services as part of their terrestrial transmission within the same, existing 6 MHz channel they use for their ATSC DTV programming.

ATSC-M/H is a U.S. standard for mobile digital TV that allows TV broadcasts to be received by mobile devices.

Digital terrestrial television in the Philippines are in development by the Philippine major broadcasting companies.

The digital transition in the United States is the switchover from analog to exclusively digital broadcasting of terrestrial television programming. According to David Rehr, then president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, this transition represented "the most significant advancement of television technology since color TV was introduced." For full-power TV stations, the transition went into effect on June 12, 2009, with stations ending regular programming on their analog signals no later than 11:59 p.m. local time that day.

In North American digital terrestrial television broadcasting, a distributed transmission system is a form of single-frequency network in which a single broadcast signal is fed via microwave, landline, or communications satellite to multiple synchronised terrestrial radio transmitter sites. The signal is then simultaneously broadcast on the same frequency in different overlapping portions of the same coverage area, effectively combining many small transmitters to generate a broadcast area rivalling that of one large transmitter or to fill gaps in coverage due to terrain or localised obstacles.

Digital multimedia broadcasting The South Korean digital TV standard

Digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) is a digital radio transmission technology developed in South Korea as part of the national IT project for sending multimedia such as TV, radio and datacasting to mobile devices such as mobile phones, laptops and GPS navigation systems. This technology, sometimes known as mobile TV, should not be confused with Digital Audio Broadcasting which was developed as a research project for the European Union. DMB was developed in South Korea as the next generation digital technology to replace FM radio, but the technological foundations were laid by Prof. Dr. Gert Siegle and Dr. Hamed Amor at Robert Bosch GmbH in Germany. The world's first official mobile TV service started in South Korea in May 2005, although trials were available much earlier. It can operate via satellite (S-DMB) or terrestrial (T-DMB) transmission. DMB has also some similarities with the main competing mobile TV standard, DVB-H.

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