Mobile TV Shakedown

Speaking at the NAB conference, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam was bullish on the future of mobile TV. He said half of Verizon Wireless’ traffic was video, and the percentage will increase in the next few years.

Smartphones are getting bigger. The Galaxy Mega has a 6.3in 720p display while the 5.8in screen Mega has a HD hi-res screen. Smaller tablets are also selling like hotcakes. Soon LTE-enabled phones and tablets will be able to receive television using LTE broadcast.

Broadcasting has their own take on mobile television. It’s called Dyle.

Some 25 new stations will be “lighting up mobile TV in some of our biggest cities,” said NAB’s chief lobbyist, Gordon Smith at the NAB show. Dyle is the broadcast television solution to mobile television.

Dyle began operation last August, and announced this week that it will expand its service to Baltimore, Jacksonville and Salt Lake City. Dyle is a coalition of 12 major broadcasters and networks such as Fox and NBC.

Meanwhile, MyDTV launched in January with trial markets in Seattle and Minneapolis. It will expand to Raleigh, N.C., next month.

Early adopters watch local TV on their iPhones or iPads about 28 minutes a week, on average. Users must pay about $80 to $100 for an antenna dongle, inserted into their device, which receives the broadcast signals. The launch group is distributing 750 receivers in each market for use with iPhones and iPads. Once the receiver is attached and the consumer downloads the free MyDTV application, the device is fully enabled.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator, provides live and on-demand content on mobile apps with TV Everywhere. Comcast’s Xfinity TV apps for Apple and Android devices have been downloaded more than 6 million times.

Time Warner Cable, the second- largest U.S. cable operator, is adding live out-of-home programming to its TWC TV application, letting customers watch shows on mobile devices.

Dish Anywhere and DirecTV’s app offer similar connectivity options for satellite TV subscribers.

Then there’s Aereo, which runs a farm of individually leased antennas — one for each subscriber — in Brooklyn. Aereo plans to expand its service, now only available in the New York City area, to 22 markets this year. You can receive mobile television through Aero by using your home WiFi or a wireless broadband connection.

How does off-the-air Dyle or MyDTV mobile tv compare with Aereo, TV Everywhere, or Broadcast LTE?

Dyle and MyDTV need a tv tuner. They require a large telescoping antenna. The resolution is low because broadcasters can’t squeeze the error correction into a second mobile 720p signal.

LTE broadcast and Aereo don’t need a tuner. They use cellular channels or WiFi.

LTE Broadcast uses multicasting. It lets hundreds (even thousands) of people receive 720p broadcasts from a single cellular tower. It’s more efficient than Dyle. LTE uses COFDM, H.265 compression and modern technology. It enables advertisers to incorporate Behavioral targeting. Within a 20 MHz cellular channel, one 5 MHz slice could broadcast 6 separate 720p signals to thousands of people (at a sporting event, for example).

Dish Networks says it may use LTE Broadcast on their 700 MHz channel to distribute mobile television to whole cities. You want local? LTE Broadcast is local.

How many people are willing to pay extra for a bulky TV tuner on their cellphone or tablet, simply to receive unreliable, low resolution pictures? Probably few.

The NAB’s current challenge is to force people into paying extra for built-in TV and radio tuners through an act of Congress.

Good luck with that. The NAB’s relevance may have evaporated with their “public service” requirements.

Related Dailywireless articles include; LTE Broadcast Mobilizes at MWC, H.265 Gets Real, Aereo Vs LTE Broadcast: Fight!, Mobile Video on Diet with Social Graph, DIAL: Smart TV App Browses for Movies, Mobile: The New Television, Verizon & AT&T Launch Targeted Advertising CBS Helps Launch Dish Hopper with Sling, What is Miracast?,Mobile TV at NAB 2012, Mobile TV Handsets: Two Flavors,

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

One thought on “Mobile TV Shakedown

  1. 60 inch tv’s are flying off the shelves and people are dying to watch movies and sports from their 5 inch smartphones?

    This may be a trend but it’ll stall at some point. Maybe when people realize their 2gb Verizon cap is all go to a few movies.

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