Gray Television Launches Mobile Digital TelevisionThursday, September 3rd, 2009
ATLANTA — Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE: GTN and GTN.A) introduces the future of television with Gray’s first successful launch of a “Mobile DTV” signal.
Gray Television’s NBC affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska, WOWT, unleashed ground breaking technology July 24, 2009 with the television groups first “mobile DTV” signal, giving viewers within the station’s coverage area a signal that can be received on mobile devices, directly from the transmitter.
Vice President of Technology for Gray Television, Jim Ocon is working with WOWT and the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) on a pilot test, making WOWT one of the only stations in the country with the technology. Mobile Digital Television transmits WOWT’s live signal, to hand-held devices. The catch, there needs to be a receiver chip built-in. “The chips themselves, the little tuners, are actually being built as we speak,” said Ocon.
“This is the future of the television industry,” said President and General Manager of WOWT, and Gray Regional Vice-President, Charlie Peterson. She had borrowed one of the few tuner based cell phones in the country for the station launch. “The quality is really unbelievable!”
The video can be received virtually anywhere within WOWT’s coverage area. “It’s designed to work on the go, with a DVD player, a cell phone, a navigation system, the possibilities are quite tremendous,” said Ocon. With Mobile Digital Television, it’s like having a television in your pocket. Imagine the possibilities during a storm. From an emergency alert perspective, I think it’s going to be a must,” said Ocon. “I think this technology is going to save lives.” Best of all, it’s completely free. It’s not offered through a cable or cell phone provider, so it does not even use cell phone minutes. “Once you see it working, you’re going to want to have it,” said Ocon.
The technology is expected to be available to consumers early next year or possibly late this year.