Mobile digital TV hits a snag: analog TV
For some of us, the digital-TV transition isn't over yet: Almost a year after almost all analog over-the-air broadcasts ended, digital viewers still lack satisfactory ways to watch while on the go-- while a minority of stations haven't made that switch from analog.
And a technology designed to address the first issue--a mobile digital-TV standard that, unlike today's handful of portable sets, would allow reception in moving vehicles-- just hit a regulatory speed bump raised by the second issue, the low-power and "translator" stations that didn't have to convert to digital last June.
Federal Communications Commission regulations generally require that televisions be able to receive both analog and digital signals. But manufacturers apparently didn't realize that would be an issue until months after launching tests of analog-free mobile-DTV tuners in the Washington area and are now asking the FCC to waive those rules.
John Taylor, a vice president with LG Electronics, e-mailed Tuesday that the company realized it might have a problem after "informal discussions with FCC staff over the past month or two."
The FCC's Media Bureau published a notice (PDF) May 20 asking for comment on a waiver, with comments due June 4.
This hiccup cast a bit of a shadow on a showcase of mobile-DTV gear staged Monday night at the Newseum (you might have seen it covered on the local news that night) that featured portable screens, USB-connected tuners for laptops and DTV-enabled smartphones.
Taylor, however, predicted no change in LG's anticipated third-quarter arrival of DTV hardware in stores: "We're not overly concerned. There is wide agreement that analog tuners in mobile DTV devices make no sense. The waiver process is the most expeditious way to put this matter to bed."
Dave Arland, a spokesman for the Open Mobile Video Coalition, professed the same optimism, e-mailing that "OMVC expects that this technical issue to be resolved shortly."
That's probably true. But if there's one thing I've learned about digital TV in a dozen years of reporting, it's that there's rarely just one thing with digital TV.
Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | May 26, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: wiredog | May 26, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fedssocr | May 26, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: novatom1 | May 26, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: txJosh16 | May 26, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bob_Dobbs | May 26, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.