LG Plans Mass Production of ATSC Mobile Digital TV Chips

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Broadcasters Applaud Key Step Toward U.S. Market Rollout

LAS VEGAS — In a move widely hailed by the nation’s broadcasters on the eve of their annual convention, LG Electronics (KSE: 066570.KS) announced today that mass production of mobile digital television (DTV) receiver chips will begin in June, setting the stage for widespread availability to the industry for a range of new consumer electronics products.

LG Electronics, co-developer of the technology at the heart of the rapidly emerging ATSC Mobile DTV Standard, is preparing for mass production of the LG2160A, a commercial chip designed for receiving devices from various manufacturers to support terrestrial, mobile DTV broadcasting in the United States.

NAB President and CEO David Rehr said, “Broadcasters welcome LG’s chip initiative, which will bring mobile DTV one step closer to marketplace availability. Mobile DTV is an exciting new technology that ensures that in the digital age, viewers can continue to count on over-the-air broadcasting as their most reliable source for local news, weather, traffic and emergency information, even when they’re outside the home and on the move.”

The emerging ATSC Mobile DTV Standard allows broadcasters to use a variable portion of the existing 19.3 Megabit-per-second DTV channel capacity to transmit data with extremely robust characteristics suitable for mobile, pedestrian and handheld applications. The mobile DTV signal is compatible with the 8-VSB DTV signal, also developed by LG’s U.S. R&D lab, Zenith.

Featuring an automatic power saving mode to maximize battery life for DTV viewing on the go, the new chip provides the mobile/handheld demodulating and equalization functions, and outputs IP packet streams to enable audio/video decoding in the receivers compatible with the emerging ATSC Mobile DTV Standard.

The president of the 800-member Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), Brandon Burgess, called the mobile DTV chip announcement “an essential element in our campaign to deliver local and national broadcast television to mobile audiences.” He added, “Starting chip production in June means that our aggressive timetable will proceed on pace, and shows how much can be accomplished when broadcasters and consumer electronics manufacturers work cooperatively toward a common goal.”

David L. Donovan, president of the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV), agreed, saying: “Widespread availability of devices, from PCs and mobile phones to portable DTVs and automotive systems, will be key to unleashing the potential of mobile DTV for broadcasters. This announcement gives broadcasters further confidence in resolving a potential mobile DTV chicken-and-egg situation.”

Among the LG2160A-equipped prototypes to be demonstrated at the 2009 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention, displayed at the ATSC Mobile DTV Pavilion and other venues, are handheld TVs, mobile phones, automotive systems and notebook computers – all intended to deliver over-the-air digital TV to consumers on the go.

LG President and CTO Dr. Woo Paik said, “My colleagues and I are proud of the key role LG is playing in the development and implementation of mobile DTV, which we regard as a ‘win-win-win’ technology for broadcasters, equipment manufacturers and especially consumers. America’s broadcasters have placed mobile DTV on a fast track, and we at LG will continue to do everything we can to support and advance their efforts.”

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) elevated its mobile DTV specifications to candidate-standard status late last year, with final adoption expected this summer. ATSC Mobile DTV allows broadcasters to leverage their existing DTV capabilities by allocating a portion of the channel capacity to reach viewers on the go, thereby creating promising new revenue streams. Broadcasters announced in January their intention to launch mobile DTV on more than 60 stations in 22 markets, covering an estimated 35 percent of U.S. television households.