Microsoft Joins DVB-H Consortium

Microsoft said Tuesday that it would become a founding member of the Mobile DTV Alliance, an organization formed to promote the use of broadcast television on mobile devices. The company said it would assist mobile operators in developing Windows Media-based solutions for the technology, called DVB-H.

The Mobile DTV Alliance was formed in late January as a partnership between Intel, Modeo, Motorola, Nokia and Texas Instruments.

The group says it will focus on promoting best practices and standards once the technology becomes more readily available. In the near future, it will work on ensuring that consumers both know of DVB-H and have access to it.

DVB-H would allow for mobile users to receive live TV on their enabled devices through a separate wireless network. Carriers would benefit as DVB-H could add a new revenue stream while freeing up the cellular network for other voice and data services.

At least one of the original five members -- Modeo -- had already used Windows Media for its DVB-H test last year, Microsoft said.

"By combining our respective industry expertise, Microsoft and fellow founding members of the Mobile DTV Alliance will help make DVB-H-powered mobile TV a reality for consumers," senior director of Windows Digital Media Pat Griffis said in a statement.

The group believes that Microsoft's agreement to join the organization would help accelerate the adoption of DVB-H into various electronic devices beyond cell phones, including PDAs, laptops and portable media players.

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