Mobile DTV Showcase on Capitol Hill Paves Way for Lobbying, Marketing Push
This week's "DTV Triple Play" extravaganza at the Rayburn House Office Building is far more than a demonstration of the capabilities of mobile digital TV to Congressional and other government leaders. The Tuesday event is an in-your-face assertion that broadcasters and electronics equipment makers are ready to go with mobile video - heading off the fast-growing mobile ventures of wireless Web providers, who will compete for attention in the evolving digital marketplace. ION Media Networks Inc. is coordinating the Capitol Hill showcase, along with the Open Mobile Video Coalition. ION owns a Washington, DC, TV channel which is participating in the DC mobile DTV pilot project; its CEO/Chairman Brandon Burgess chairs OMVC.
Six Washington-area TV stations are expected to beam two mobile channels each for Tuesday's demonstration, along with other DTV signals, including program guides and emergency alert data. Most of the stations are already signed up to take part in the DC-area segment of OMVC's three-city technology pilot project this summer; Atlanta and Seattle are the other test sites - but the DC area offers political as well as consumer testing opportunities, such as this week's Capitol experience.
Visitors to the open demonstration will see LG phones, Dell netbooks, Kenwood in-car reception devices and other equipment that can pick up the mobile DTV signals from local TV stations. The organizers are billing the "DTV Triple Play" as a way that Congressional, FCC, Administration and other interested policy-makers can see "HDTV, new free channels and Mobile DTV" from Washington-area digital broadcasters. Other sponsors of the event include Samsung, Harris, Rohde & Schwarz, along with a roster of TV lobbying and broadcasting organizations - notably the Public Broadcasting Service, which has been very aggressive in its DTV agenda.