Thursday, January 08, 2009

Why is TV Going Digital This Year?

So it can be in the pocket of every person with a cell phone!

Millions of consumers by year's end should be able to watch free, over-the-air television on cellphones, PDAs and other portable digital devices as the result of initiatives that will be unveiled today by some of the nation's largest TV station owners and electronics manufacturers.

The changes promoting on-the-go viewing are "quite significant," says John Eck, president of the NBC TV Network and Media Works. "If we play it right, it can be a compelling service," for example, by offering local news, which normally isn't available from cellphone video services.

At least 63 stations in 22 cities — including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Washington — will transmit news, entertainment and sports to portable devices this year, according to the broadcast industry's Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC).

The initial group will include affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, ION and PBS. Each city will have a different mix. Most will simulcast regularly scheduled shows.

In conjunction with the announcement, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, manufacturers including LG, Samsung, Zenith and Kenwood will display mobile receivers due in stores later this year.

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