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Washington, DC first to get free mobile TV

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Mon April 20, 2009

Wash gets ATSC Mobile TV

The outline the early launch plans for ATSC Mobile DTV, the first free over-the-air TV standard meant for portable devices in the US. Washington, DC will be the first city to get coverage and will be supported by 5 stations owned by CBS, Fox, Ion, NBC and PBS when service starts sometime in the late summer. About 39 percent of the US will be covered by the end of 2009 and should include major cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco and several others.

An initial roster of hardware supporting ATSC Mobile DTV isn't yet public but will likely center on internal and external tuners for computers, where the feature can be added on to existing designs. Dell is known to be demonstrating a notebook with built-in tuning and has already revealed its intention to release a USB TV tuner that at one point may accommodate the American format.

Kenwood is also making an in-car TV that would support the format, though carriers are said to be reluctant. Both AT&T and Verizon use FLO TV and require a monthly subscription that generates extra revenue, something neither firm will get with a free service. LG and Samsung are the only two major handset makers known to be involved and are the primary supporters outside of the ATSC.

The US will be one of the last major markets to get free mobile TV. Japanese and Korean phones regularly include the 1Seg and T-DMB standards, respectively, to receive local broadcasts. While not as popular, the DVB-H format is used in a small number of European countries.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Webpages like Minefields

    Why is reading this article like walking though a minefield? Like many others I use my mouse cursor to keep track of where I'm reading. But if I do that on your webpages, all kinds of irrelevant ads pop up, blocking my view of the story. Yes, I know others do the same thing, but that's no excuse.

    The closest equivalent would be for the TV networks to pop ads up on screen during shows rather than keeping ads confined to specific time slots. If they don't do that, why should you do the Internet equivalent? I realize you have to make money some way, this just isn't the way to do it.

    For what it's worth, I'm adopting a new policy. Never click on advertising links on webpages that have pop-up, mouse-over links scattered through articles. All links should activate only when clicked. Let users decide what they look at.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: webpages like

    I keep forgetting how bad these web sites are until you open them up in an unprotected browser.

    But, here's some simple solutions to everyday annoyances:

    - If using Safari, get AdBlock for Safari, or something like PithHelmet. Add a rule for MacNN's pop-up provider (intellitxt and someone else, I believe)

    - If using firefox, get adblock, subscribe to one of the lists, and never see them again (or manually add the above to it).

    - Google "mvps hosts", click the first link, and download the hosts file they have. Replace your local hosts file. Say goodbye to ads.

    FWIW, I block everything from MacNN, because they are so freakin' annoying, so no flash animations, no pop-up ads on random words in articles, etc. But I don't block non-annoying ads from respectable sites, as I may actually want to support those places.

  1. tonywin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Washington, Mobile TV

    Good to see the US finally getting on board with Mobile TV - BUT why have you gone for yet another format when the research has already delivered a very proficient model that is in use around the globe NOT just Korea as the US press continues to misrepresent. T-DMB is a sub set of the ubiquitous Eureka 147 protocol that has been rolling out across the globe since 1997. It is extremely robust and simple to implement and has the distinct advantages of being able to manage Audio, Data and vision services - as well as having a VERY wide choice of compatible receivers. - T-DMB is alive and expanding, - take advantage of the economies of scale and join in the fun!

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