Phoenix Model Market broadcasters plan in-car TV trial with Avis Budget Group

Monday, October 15th, 2018
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Phoenix Model Market TV Broadcasters and Avis Budget Group Planning Early 2019 Test of Next-Gen Mobile Television

  • Pearl TV White Paper Suggests Over-the-Air TV Advantages for Cars of the Future

PHOENIX — Television broadcasters working together to advance the launch of next-gen TV broadcasting are planning an early 2019 trial of the mobile video capabilities of the new broadcast TV standard, in concert with Avis Budget Group.

“We’ve identified several potential use cases for television-delivered signals in a passenger car, from basic reception of over-the-air audio and video signals to a range of interactive capabilities, since the new broadcast TV standard can easily accommodate reception in a moving vehicle. Planning is underway now to launch the first in-car tests in early 2019,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, the broadcast TV group that is managing the Phoenix Model Market project.

“We’re on a mission to completely reinvent the customer experience through mobile apps, digital platforms and connected cars,” said Arthur Orduña, executive vice president and chief innovation officer, Avis Budget Group. “Whether it’s broadcast entertainment, interactive information about the vehicle itself or location-based content and offers, Avis Budget Group looks forward to working with Phoenix Model Market stations to determine what passenger configurations could best accommodate a new in-car offering.”

Twelve Phoenix TV stations are collaborating in the Phoenix Model Market, including Arizona State University’s Arizona PBS Channel 8 (PBS), E.W. Scripps Company’s KNXV Channel 15 (ABC), Fox Television Stations’ KSAZ Channel 10 (FOX) and KUTP Channel 26 (MyTV Network), Meredith Local Media Group’s KPHO Channel 17 (CBS) and KTVK Channel 24 (Independent), Nexstar Media Group’s KASW Channel 49 (CW Network), Telemundo Station Group’s KTAZ Channel 39 (Telemundo), Tegna’s KPNX Channel 12 (NBC), Univision’s KFPH-CD Channel 35 (UniMas) and KTVW-DT Channel 33 (Univision), and Arizona Television’s KAZT Channel 7 (Independent).

Among the use cases to be tested with Avis Budget Group in Phoenix for passengers’ entertainment, include:

  • Basic over-the-air entertainment programming (both audio and video), with different device types and in-car configurations will be explored. Broadcasters will be utilizing the ATSC 3.0 interactive runtime environment with digital rights management and AC-4 multichannel audio decoding. Receiving gear could include plug-in receivers (for an installed entertainment system, such as on a headrest) and TV reception on a tablet as viewscreen.
  • Over-the-Air application and interactive services will be tested, including a supplemental user experience that incudes on-screen applications to enhance viewing and engagement. Potential features include electronic guides, programming-specific text overlays, Avis-specific rental car information, and coupons and maps.

Other potential use cases to be examined in later projects might include map downloads, software updates, and real-time traffic information.

Over-the-Air TV Advantages

A new “white paper” just published by Pearl TV suggests that a hybrid model with both cellular and over-the-air or satellite reception may be best for future carmakers to manage the data demands on the car of tomorrow.

“The industry should look at a hybrid connectivity framework for building next-generation solutions. This approach would provide the ability to manage the data costs. Cellular will continue to be the backbone for data solutions but there are emerging technologies such as ATSC 3.0 and Satellite which can play a very useful supporting role to complement and supplement the data requirements for future vehicles,” said industry consultant, analyst and white paper author Chetan Sharma.

“The intelligence in the telematics control unit can pick the technology depending on the needs of the specific application or service. This way, carmakers can have better control over their data costs, which can afford them the opportunity to not only manage the costs of software and map updates but also launch new revenue-generating services such as content streaming and Live TV,” Sharma explains.