The business about having to pay extra royalties for content transmitted on the mobile stream is a bit much. It looks like this applies even if the content is identical to what is sent on the standard DTT stream: "When asked at a CES panel discussion, a group of Hollywood studio executives were not familiar with the local TV stations' plans, but generally agreed broadcasters lack the rights in their existing contracts to send their content to mobile devices." This doesn't sound sensible in the least. Bert ---------------------------------------------- Mobile broadcasters face technical, business hurdles As field trials gear up, Hollywood looks for royalties Rick Merritt and Junko Yoshida (01/08/2008 2:07 AM EST) URL: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=205600281 LAS VEGAS - A broad group of local television stations will start technical field trials of three competing mobile broadcasting technologies next month. But Hollywood executives said they will need to negotiate content rights before broadcasters turn on commercial systems that will serve cellphones and other mobile devices. Backers of competing technologies cranked up the volume at the Consumer Electronics Show in their effort to be selected as the mobile broadcasting standard. Rivals LG Electronics and Samsung showed working prototype devices at CES based on chips they are now sampling. Thomson and partner Micronas are scrambling to deliver working chips and systems for a third proposal before the trials end in March. The technologies aim to let TV stations use their existing digital spectrum and towers to deliver video and data services competing with mobile TV and cellular networks. Their goal is to go live with the services in February 2009, about the time they must close down TV broadcasting on their old analog spectrum. "Mobile broadcasting will be the application that brings viewers back to the local TV stations," said Howard Lance, chief executive of Harris Corp. who said his company will ship by September back end RF systems supporting the LG technology. As many as ten initial proposals to the Advanced Television Systems Committee have been condensed down to three major efforts, said Mark Aitken, director of advanced technology at Sinclair Broadcast Group who chairs the ATSC committee working on the standard. Based on results of the field trials, the ATSC hopes to start defining a standard perhaps in time for the National Association of Broadcasters meeting in mid-April. The group may pick and choose from among the proposals as it evaluates the best physical, management and applications layer technologies. "The first decision will be to define a physical layer," Aiken said. LG and Harris demoed their technology at CES, called Mobile Pedestrian Handheld (MPH), and have conducted field trials in Chicago and Washington DC. The mobile chip sets consumer an average of 200 mW, aimed at enabling at least four hours of TV viewing, said Woo Paik, LG's chief technology officer at a CES press conference. The competing advanced vestigial sideband (A-VSB) system from Samsung announced more than a year ago has been in field trials longer, said John Godfrey who heads the Samsung effort, backed by Nokia Siemens Networks and Rohde & Schwarz. A Samsung engineer said the company's current A-VSB chip sets for mobile systems consume about 500mW average, but a second generation due later this year could fall to as low as 100 mW. Both companies showed a variety of cellular handsets, portable media players, navigation systems and notebooks enabled with mobile TV USB dongles using their chips. Jay Adrick, vice president of broadcast technology for Harris estimated it would cost an average TV station about $125,000 to install a two-channel MPH service. Samsung's Godfrey said he estimated it could cost less than $100,000 to install an A-VSB system which could deliver more than six channels. All sides use vestigial sideband coding and H.264 compression, part of the US digital TV standard. Aiken described the Thomson/Micronas approach as an offshoot of Europe's DVB-Handheld standard. "They all have their points of differentiation, but until they get proven in the lab or in the field we won't know which ones are the best," Aiken said. While the technical evaluations get started, business negotiations are not yet on the horizon. When asked at a CES panel discussion, a group of Hollywood studio executives were not familiar with the local TV stations' plans, but generally agreed broadcasters lack the rights in their existing contracts to send their content to mobile devices. "I would bet in most cases there will need to be separate negotiations," said Tom Lesinski, president of Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment. Albert Cheng, executive vice president of digital media for the Disney-ABC Television Group, agreed that local TV stations do not have mobile broadcasting rights. Dan Fawcett, president of digital media for Fox Entertainment said he was not sure whether local broadcasters have been cleared for mobile rights. All three executives said they are experimenting with mobile services in several forms as one way to grow their fledgling digital businesses. Paramount has licensed its full-length movies to Nokia and others. Disney has a mobile channel and on-demand mobile service, and Fox has created mobile-specific content for services hoisted by Verizon and others. The need to pay mobile royalties may come as a surprise for some local TV stations who assumed users would be attracted to free over-the-air TV as one of the more compelling aspects of mobile broadcasting. All material on this site Copyright 2008 CMP Media LLC. All rights reserved. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.