According to the Open Mobile Video Coalition, 76 stations in 32 U.S. markets are now on the air with Mobile DTV signals that let consumers receive station programming on mobile devices without needing to access the Internet through WiFi or data wireless broadband networks.
According to Anne Schelle, Executive Director of OMVC, “Mobile DTV will reach more than 77 million households – or more than two thirds of all viewers in America – in the next twelve months.”
Just because the signals can reach that many people doesn’t mean that they all will be tuning in, however. At this point, I remain unconvinced that consumers are going to be beating down the doors for this new service. It does have some advantages over traditional terrestrial television broadcasts; the standard includes ways for receivers to store received data for access later, which means that mobile devices could act as little DVRs.
Still, I think that the best bet for Mobile DTV will be if it can become a feature built into other devices, such as mobile phones, netbooks, and tablets. LG and Samsung apparently have prototype phones that they will be demonstrating at NAB, which seems to be a step in the right direction. I’m not yet convinced that this will be enough to sway consumers, however, when a broadband connection can give them access to all the video content on the Internet.