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Free mobile TV coming to your car

By: staff

Date: Friday, 09. January 2009

TV broadcasters in 22 U.S. cities announced yesterday at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that they will soon broadcast their TV signals in a format that can be received by a variety of mobile communications devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, GPS units and in-car entertainment systems,

They announced that the broadcasts would most likely be free and would offer local news, weather and traffic information.

Manufacturers such as LG and Samsung are working on phones and other devices that can accept the free broadcast TV signals. However, Mark Aitken, director of advanced technology for the Sinclair Broadcasting Group recognizes that there’s a "chicken and egg" element to the technology's development – why develop the broadcasting signals when there are currently no devices that can receive them?

The broadcasters have resolved to deal with that conundrum by taking the initiative. "Broadcasters have come together and said ‘We’ll be the chicken," ' Aitken told CES attendees.

The technology has an additional potential in that in emergency situations the broadcast TV signals won’t overload cell phone networks and can transmit critical emergency information.

The systems will have the capability to be broadcast either by satellite or earth-based TV towers, and so can be available in remote areas. While satellite-based broadcasting gives national coverage, it can not provide the local services which may be more useful to drivers.


The major obstacle to the free system is that AT&T and Verizon Wireless already offer a 10-channel service for $15 per month using a competing broadcasting system run by Qualcomm. However, the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), which represents the free broadcast group, says it has had discussions with these carriers, and expects there will be deals made.

As yet, mobile devices are unable to receive conventional digital TV broadcasts, but the OMVC are working on this aspect also.

Meanwhile, Audiovox Corp. announced plans for an in-car receiver for Qualcomm’s MediaFLO service. They say the receiver will work with existing in-car entertainment screens will be available in eight to 10 months for less than $500.

AT&T and RaySat Broadcasting Corp. said they will start marketing a satellite TV system called CruiseCast for cars this spring, providing 22 TV channels and 20 radio stations for about $28 per month. It requires a bowl-shaped antenna with a suggested retail price of $1,300.

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All Comments (7)

Showing 1 - 7 comments


I could be in to looking at tv in my car


TV in car good. TV while driving bad. You wold think drivers would have enough sense to not watch while driving but obviously some would, therefore i would support a law that says no screen visible to driver is allowed,


thats a good message. I think i will buy this for my car. And the best thing is that the mobiel TV is not so expensive.


jawad anas,

je suis un inlassable de drivers


I would actually pay for this but the problem is i have too many other things to pay for - cell, internet, cable TV, phone services, subscription ... maybe some day all these will be cheaper and bundled together. until then I look forward to free, even with the ads.


i want to have the same software


Anything that cost on tv is out of question, I don't think it will work massively any time soon, maybe 5 to 10 years down the road this feture services will star kicking in and only after we get bombarded with lots and lots of commercials and the competition kicks in.

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