If They Called It Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld, It Wouldn’t Be as Easy to Say
Sure, it’s not as sexy as a 100-inch LCD HDTV that’s only .001-inch thick, but the new MPH in-band mobile digital television (DTV) system is pretty cool if you’re into mobile-pedestrian-handheld TV watching.
LG, Zenith, and Harris have co-developed the technology that makes it possible to watch ATSC-compatible signals even while traveling faster than the legal speed limit. Of course, you shouldn’t be watching your MPH-enabled GPS device while driving, so the benefits of the technology will have to be enjoyed by your passengers.
LG says this is the next best thing in DTV because broadcasters can slip the MPH broadcast signal into their existing 6-MHz, 19.39 megabit-per-second digital pipe with minimal infrastructure enhancements. The MPH chip that will enable portable devices to receive the MPH broadcasts is supposed to be very inexpensive to incorporate, thus making it perfect for use in all the portable devices we want but don’t want to pay much for (cell phones, GPS units, PVPs…)
The pundits at the press conference maintained that most people will use their MPH devices to watch their favorite programs from local broadcasters, watch movies and sports, and access local news and weather information (only because wireless porn probably won’t get approved by the FCC). Broadcasters are supposed to love the technology because it “has the potential to create lucrative new revenue streams from advertiser-supported free broadcast mobile DTV, premium pay services or both.”
Trials are going on right now in a couple of markets. Official rollout is scheduled for February 2009 (a month that will live in infamy for all households without cable or satellite).