Mobile DTV Launches In Seattle, Minneapolis

The Mobile500 Alliance, with Fisher Communications and Hubbard Broadcasting, will distribute 750 receivers in each market for use with iPhones and iPads. Initial advertisers on the service will be Lincoln and Chrysler. Nielsen and Rentrak will evaluate launch data.

The Mobile500 Alliance, with Fisher Communications and Hubbard Broadcasting, has soft launched MyDTV, a new mobile digital television service, in the Seattle and Minneapolis markets, the organization announced Thursday.

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.

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A one-time registration is required to register to qualify the device owner so that audience measurement data will be delivered in the same fashion as is currently reported for television. The Mobile500 Alliance is working with Nielsen and Rentrak to evaluate the launch data.

The MyDTV app also features closed captioning, an electronic program guide, built in social media to enhance engagement and sharing, as well as an optional live record feature. The live record feature is one that consumers have said is a necessary feature to complement on-the-go viewing.

In conjunction with Accelerated Media, a leader in advanced advertising and interactive TV solutions for major brands and agencies, several advertisers have agreed to run advertising campaigns during the soft consumer launch.

Ads will be served two ways: with banner ads and between channel changes. The Lincoln Motor Co. and Chrysler/Jeep will be the service’s initial advertisers.

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The companies said the ability to effectively send the broadcast signal simultaneously to multiple viewers without using the often-taxed cellular bandwidth “is a good value for consumers. The current delivery of streaming video to cell phones over cellular networks is not free to the end user, and it does not take long to exhaust data plan allowances. Cellular bandwidth limitations also often inhibit the ability for large groups to simultaneously stream.

“Broadcasters have the most efficient standard to deliver video to many people at the same time, ‘one to many.’ This leaves the cellular bandwidth open for talking, data, texting, and searching.”

To develop this product, the Mobile500 Alliance worked with Elgato, Expway, and Broadcast Interactive Media.

The Alliance will conduct a live demonstration of its MyDTV application at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (Jan. 9-11) in booth 14340 in the Mobile TV TechZone in the Central Hall. The demonstration will include the enhanced features and new devices.

The Alliance is made up of over 400 television stations from around the nation, all with the common goal of bringing broadcast television to consumers on their mobile devices.

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