The Open Mobile Video Coalition has launched new statistics on DTV free-to air mobile TV deployments across the United States, showing that there 73 TV stations in 33 markets across the country are now transmitting mobile DTV signals.
DTV, which will offer mobile access to live, local affiliate television streams, is thus showing some momentum: That's 21 more stations than were operating just a month ago. In total, six more markets added stations. Washington D.C. and Los Angeles boast the most signals, with six each. The Mobile Content Venture (MCV), a joint venture of 12 major broadcasters that includes NBC, Fox and Cox Media, has committed to continuing to upgrade TV stations around the country in order to make DTV a reality, with the goal of having at least two ad-supported channels in every major market.
As it stands right now, the deployments by year-end should total 151 TV stations in 79 markets, but that number could grow. Already in the past month 18 markets have joined the list of 46 cities with stations planning Mobile DTV launches yet this year.
Since the U.S. settled on the ATSC M/H transmission standard for DTV, the over-the-air mobile digital television transmission standard, mobile DTV has been seen as the greatest hope for mobile TV uptake in the U.S., having the backing of the FCC and various stakeholders. Media companies and local affiliates, for instance, are excited by the prospect of new ad revenue streams.
"Live, local video will ultimately be a key part of mobile services," said Salil Dalvi, co-GM of MCV.
On the device front, consumer devices are now coming to market to support the services, while the MCV is working with MobiTV to develop apps. According to the research firm In-Stat, the U.S. mobile DTV sector will experience solid growth over the next few years, with more than 30 million ATSC Mobile DTV devices expected to be deployed by 2014.