The other US mobile DTV alliance opens the door for a truce

The Mobile DTV Alliance is hoping to speed up the adoption of phone-based consumption of TV by lightening up on its support of struggling format DVB-H.

Mobile TV is still waiting to be embraced in the US. We've come around to having YouTube available on our phones, and there are plenty of options for streaming radio, but Mobile broadcast TV is just not sticking.

Apparently in Europe, where the decisive hand of the EC mandated the DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld) standard in hopes of hurrying the technology's growth, mobile TV companies are still waffling.

Last week, the international nonprofit Mobile DTV Alliance announced that it will be cooperating with the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum (bmcoforum) to help stimulate DTV adoption in the mass market, globally and in the US. It has also entered into an agreement with The Global Certification Forum, a consortium of network operators, device manufacturers, and observers that seeks to establish global best practices and interoperability among wireless standards.

The group, however, is no longer exclusively pushing DVB-H as its format of choice. It will begin to incorporate other standards, such as ATSC (Advanced Televisions Systems Committee) into its efforts.

"The MDTVA has closely followed and evaluated mobile TV pre-launch interoperability profile activities in Europe which were overseen by the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum," said Walt Tamminen, president of the Alliance. "In line with our guiding philosophies of speed and efficiency, we will leverage the bmcoforum's existing profiling processes and organizations and adapt the best practices learned by the European market stakeholders."

DVB-H continues to face a great deal of opposition in the US, as the nation's two largest wireless carriers, Verizon and AT&T, both use MediaFLO to deliver their signature Mobile TV services. Carrier agnostic mobile TV broadcaster MobiTV announced on Friday that it now has over five million subscribers. The service, which is available on AT&T, Sprint, and Alltel, supports ATSC.

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