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Unedited press release follows:
Advertising Potential of Mobile Digital Television Highlighted at “4A’s” Conference in Austin
America’s Advertising Community Learns How Real TV “On the Go” Could Change America’s Viewing Habits
AUSTIN, Texas–Imagine carrying your favorite TV programs with you wherever you go, whether it’s to relieve the monotony of a long line at the supermarket or to enjoy a personal telecast in the bedroom while the rest of the family is watching the living room TV. The potential of more people watching more TV will appeal to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), which holds its annual meeting in Austin this week and hundreds of conference attendees will get their first view of the new broadcast TV technology now being rolled out by TV stations throughout the country.
Mobile Digital TV is familiar programs transmitted by local TV broadcast stations that utilize the same channel already bringing high-definition broadcasts and other programming to viewers. More than 60 TV stations around the country have already upgraded to offer the new services, including Austin’s KVUE – which is demonstrated Mobile DTV this week and its ability to serve as a local news resource.
Nationwide, local broadcasters are poised to offer a wide variety of viewers’ favorite shows and sporting events, along with real-time news, weather and traffic – an affordable “real TV on the go” experience. Broadcasters are now upgrading their transmission systems to offer a variety of Mobile DTV channels.
Mobile DTV Means Viewers Watch More TV
“Television can be much more than the traditional experience of engaging with your ‘big screen’ in the living room. To that end, we’re very excited about the potential that Mobile DTV broadcasts will bring to our viewers,” said Patti C. Smith, President and General Manager of KVUE-TV in Austin. “We know that our viewers will appreciate the convenience that Mobile DTV offers, meeting their needs for immediacy and transportability. Consequently, advertisers will also be interested in the potential for reaching far more viewers now that digital TV will be available anywhere a consumer travels in the viewing area.”
Mobile DTV’s potential isn’t limited to Austin. A number of broadcast TV stations in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, Texas – and dozens of other TV broadcasters throughout the country — have also started transmitting the new services.
“One of the most valuable services our member stations provide is the delivery of timely news and information to viewers. Now, if the weather turns bad, real-time reports can be with you wherever you go. Broadcasters throughout Texas are keenly interested in reaching new audiences outside the home, and Mobile DTV will deliver more viewers as new devices begin to reach the market,” said Ann Arnold, President of the Texas Association of Broadcasters.
A complete list of stations now transmitting in Mobile DTV is available on the web site of the Open Mobile Video Coalition of America’s broadcasters (OMVC), which represents more than 900 TV stations throughout the country. Just visit OMVC.org and click on the “Signal Map” tab to see the latest roster of Mobile DTV broadcasters.
“We’re very excited to be working with the TVB, the not-for-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast television industry, to reach out to America’s advertising community this week during the 4A’s conference in Austin. Advertisers will want to find out more about the new services and new devices that are just now reaching retail stores,” said Anne Schelle, Executive Director of the OMVC.
More than two dozen new products are slated for introduction this year for reception of the new Mobile DTV signals, including a new line of RCA portable TV sets that is being introduced this week through online sales. Mobile DTV reception is planned in tablet devices, USB receivers for computers, portable DVD players, and a variety of in-car receivers that can supplement an existing “infotainment” system in a car or van for backseat viewing. Among the devices demonstrated for advertising professionals this week are:
* Prototype netbook computers from Dell that are specially-equipped with circuitry and antennae to receive over-the-air Mobile DTV;
* Sample mobile phones from LG Electronics and Samsung mobile that feature integrated Mobile DTV circuitry;
* New RCA portable TV sets that receive both Mobile DTV and standard digital TV broadcasts in an affordable package;
* Mobile DTV on the iPad and iPhone, with new devices from Valups and Cydle
* A variety of computer USB receivers from manufacturers DTVinteractive, Pixtree, and Hauppauge Computer Works that can turn a laptop or desktop computer into a Mobile DTV device.
Showcase Results Peg High Interest in Mobile DTV
From May through October 2010, OMVC conducted a Consumer Showcase of Mobile DTV technology with nearly 350 consumers getting “hands on” opportunities to use Mobile DTV on prototype cell phones, netbooks, and a new DVD player equipped with Mobile DTV capability. The results were tabulated by market research firms Rentrak (which provided comprehensive Audience Measurement services) and Harris Interactive (which provided Qualitative Research services.)
More than 22,000 comments about the service posted to an online community exclusively for the use of Showcase participants. Among the findings:
Strong Consumer Interest: The majority of Showcase participants maintained a high level of excitement about Mobile DTV throughout the duration of the Showcase and were interested in continuing to receive the service going forward. While free over-the-air service was a major positive with viewers, nearly half also said they would be at least “somewhat likely” to subscribe to premium services for a monthly fee.
Live, Local News Ranks Highly: Showcase participants found themselves tuning into their battery-powered Mobile DTV devices when storms knocked out power to their home TVs or when breaking news unfolded while they were on-the-go. Local stations were considered essential to the Mobile DTV viewing experience, but participants also liked having a variety of programming. Data from Rentrak shows more than 30 different program genres were viewed on the 23 available channels.
Daytime is Primetime: Unlike traditional TV viewing, which is tethered to the living room TV, Mobile DTV viewing tends to peak during the weekday afternoon when consumers can watch their favorite programs while on a break from work or while waiting in line at the supermarket.
Mobile DTV Means More TV: Showcase research suggests that Mobile DTV will result in a net gain in overall TV consumption. 94% of viewers reported watching more or the same amount of TV as before. The average daily viewer spent 50 minutes watching Mobile DTV and tuned in more than twice during the day. In fact, over a quarter of the people watching on a typical day spent more than an hour viewing their Mobile DTV device.
ABOUT THE OPEN MOBILE VIDEO COALITION
Representing over 900 TV stations across the country, the Open Mobile Video Coalition is a voluntary association of television broadcasters whose mission is to accelerate the development of mobile digital television in the United States. The OMVC is composed of 36 members that own and operate over 500 commercial television stations, as well as the Association of Public Television Stations, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service, which represent an additional 360 public television stations. Membership in the OMVC is open to all U.S.-based television broadcasters.