Get Local TV Broadcasts on Your Favorite Mobile Devices

Dennis Faas's picture

Television stations in 22 major U.S. cities have come together to announce that they will soon broadcast their signals in a format designed for mobile devices like cellphones, mp3 players and GPS units.

The 22 stations, which include broadcasts out of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston, would reach over 35 percent of all U.S. households. In total, 54 commercial network affiliates have committed to launching broadcasts, while another nine PBS affiliates are considering joining the project. (Source:

The difference between these broadcasts and current mobile television subscriptions is that the emphasis is now placed on the local market as opposed to offering the same channels to everyone via the established satellite system.

Why is this so important?

Now people in Chicago and New York will receive different television feeds; a critical factor in emergency road and weather situations. Since the news is sent directly to your portable device, there is no longer any legitimate reason to waste time searching the Internet for this same information.

While the project shows signs of promise, some analysts have voiced concerns over whether or not any devices exist that can receive these signals. While the television stations involved have admitted that not many devices are currently available, the belief is that manufacturers would be more inclined to create receptive devices if the broadcasters remain committed to the project.

In fact, it seems some manufacturers are already responding to the news; a few prototype devices were shown off at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The gadgets were able to receive trial broadcasts from two local stations.

LG Electronics Inc, a major partner in developing the broadcast technology, showed off two prototype cell phones and a portable DVD player. Kenwood Corp., Delphi Corp. and Visteon Corp. are also in the process of developing car-based receivers. (Source:

While still in its infancy, the short-term success of initial broadcasts will be a deciding factor in whether more stations and manufacturers commit to the project in the future.

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