Uncommon Wisdom

Apr 22 2009   2:14PM GMT

Mobile DTV goes to Washington: And the effect on streaming?

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

The Open Mobile TV Coalition will be testing mobile DTV in the Washington DC area by the end of 2009.

Mobile DTV is a significant development for broadcasters because it is based on equipping mobile devices with DTV tuners to receive the broadcast signal rather than delivering content as IP streams. This empowers local stations and also empowers handset providers, but it obviously puts streaming mobile content more at risk.

The exact impact of mobile DTV on streaming mobile content is difficult to judge at this point because the former isn’t available and the latter is lightly consumed, but our modeling suggests that the mobile DTV approach could satisfy more than 70% of mobile content demand, if demand is measured by the spontaneous interest metric and not the “could-be-interested” approach that’s usually taken by researchers. There will be considerable network push behind mobile DTV too, since the networks don’t want to subsidize local channels but don’t want them to fail either.

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