[opendtv] Re: Over-the-air TV gears for mobile, Web roles

  • From: "Mark A. Aitken" <maitken@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 17:03:14 -0400

OMA Bcast DRM profile for one-way (broadcast) applications...

On 10/30/2008 5:00 PM, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
Looks like the ATSC chose the LG/Harris MPH scheme over Samsung's A-VSB.
I don't believe there's a big difference between them in how efficient
they are, from the results we've been shown anyway.

Not sure I understand what this means:

"The spec also includes content protection using a broadcast encryption
scheme and a method for exchanging keys in over-the-air broadcasts or
via an Internet back channel."

Even multicast key exchange protocols require a two-way connection at
some point (RFC 4046). So it seems to me that a separate Internet
conncection via 802.11 hot spot, WiMAX, or cellular phone, will be
required at least to get the device admitted. Re-keying of a broadcast
seems possible without a two-way channel.


Over-the-air TV gears for mobile, Web roles
Digital standard prepares for a second major wave

Rick Merritt
(10/30/2008 10:29 AM EDT)
URL: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=211800241

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Proponents of over-the-air digital TV are gearing up
for new mobile and Web offerings that could hit as early as next year.
But even some implementers admit the effort faces a host of daunting

With the rise of cable, satellite and IPTV services, over-the-air TV has
declined to use by a small subset of typically rural and low tech
households. But the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) which
manages the U.S. digital TV specification aims to inject new life into
the technology with a wave of standards in progress.

The first and most ambitious of these is a standard for sending
over-the-air TV transmissions to mobile devices including cellphones,
media players and car navigation systems. The ATSC plans to vote on a
final mobile standard on November 25 and launch initial services in

Broadcasters could cash in on a whopping $2 billion advertising market
if they can reach the estimated 200 million video-ready mobile devices
expected to ship in 2008 alone, said Glenn Reitmeier, vice president of
technology policy, strategy and standards at NBC Universal and chairman
of ATSC.

"I don't know where else you can find $2 billion in growth in a fairly
mature TV market," Reitmeier said in a presentation at the annual
technical conference of the Society of Motion Picture and Television
Engineers here.

"We think there is a very bright future for over-the-air TV, and the
ATSC is launching a second wave of major standards to address it," said
Jerry Whitaker, vice president of ATSC in a separate talk.

The mobile spec includes abilities to tap into an optional Internet
connection likely to be supported on many mobile devices.

"That means this is more than plain old mobile TV--it can be based on an
Internet experience," said Reitmeier, referring the other mobile TV
services that have failed to gain traction.

The ATSC is also developing a spec for non-real-time services that could
support Internet-driven applications ranging from software downloads to
Web-based services including news feeds. "The non-real-time service is a
simple bolt on to our IP stack," he said.

In late September, the ATSC selected to so-called Mobile Pedestrian
Handheld physical-layer technology proposed by the team of LG
Electronics and Harris Corp. as the basis for its candidate draft
standard. The ATSC layers a fairly standard Internet Protocol stack on
top of the radio. Samsung and its partners had proposed an alternative
radio it called advanced vestigial sideband.

LG and Samsung showed a range of mobile TV prototype systems using their
competing approaches at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Reitmeier said he expects those companies and others to show a wider
range of prototype systems and chips at this year's CES.

The spec also includes content protection using a broadcast encryption
scheme and a method for exchanging keys in over-the-air broadcasts or
via an Internet back channel.

Other mobile TV efforts, such as those of Crown Castle which spearheaded
use of the DVB-H standard, have failed to gain traction in the U.S. But
Reitmeier said mobile TV efforts in Korea and Japan are gaining ground
using ad-supported business models.

The ATSC mobile offering rides on existing over-the air broadcasts
unlike some mobile TV efforts that require setting up new networks.
However, that does not mean it will be cheap or easy to deploy by
today's estimated 1,600 DTV broadcasters, many of them small local

Mobile ATSC service providers will need to add new exciters, modulators
and optional Internet delivery systems to their existing nets. At CES, a
Harris executive estimated it would cost broadcasters at least $125,000
for the equipment to set up a two-channel mobile TV service.

Bigger issues include defining and delivering the hybrid
broadcast/Internet network architecture and applications for a mobile

"The difference between mobile and digital TV will be greater than the
difference between digital and analog TV," said James Kutzner, chief
engineer for PBS in a SMPTE talk on his experiences with the emerging
spec. "Today I have more questions than answers," said Kutzner who is
also vice chairman of the ATSC's planning group.

For example, "we need to think about application layer authoring,
something that has no equivalent in digital TV," Kutzner said.

In terms of network architecture, the interface between mobile service
operations of a network broadcaster and its affiliate stations is still
undefined, he said. In addition, it's not clear whether baseband,
Internet Protocol or other alternatives should form the native signaling
base for mobile TV, he added.

Stations will also have to decide how they want to subdivide their
allotted spectrum, a decision with complex business and technical
trade-offs. For example, local broadcasters could implement one mobile
channel, one high def channel and one or two standard definition TV
channels. Alternatively they could forgo HD broadcasts and implement as
many as a dozen separate mobile channels.

Mobile broadcasters must also consider gearing up a new mobile-specific
Web offering to complement the broadcasts. However, they must take into
account the fact some of the mobile devices that get their TV signals
may not have an Internet connection.

Ultimately, "we absolutely need to drive to low cost, automated
operations" on the expanded network, Kutzner said.

The biggest job of all may be the hunt for killer apps.

"We plan to build a lab environment with one or two mobile stations to
develop an end-to-end platform," potentially collaborating with
commercial broadcasters, he said. "We need to get up and running so we
can develop a workflow and content to start consumer trials to figure
out what would be winning applications," he added.

In that regard, the ATSC has started work on a 2.0 spec that aims to
define next-generation over-the-air services. The ATSC polled its
members about two months ago for initial ideas that a working group is
now reviewing. Early ideas include navigation services as well as better
quality pictures and sound.

"It's very much a work in progress," said Reitmeier

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Mark A. Aitken
Director, Advanced Technology
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