WGBH steps into the future with mobile DTV simulcasts

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WGBH is going where no station has gone before: This week it launched the first mobile DTV service in the system. The station is simulcasting its main HD channel along with its ‘GBH Kids Channel and two audio program streams. It’s the first of nine stations that announced in February 2009 their plans to begin using the technology (Current, Feb. 2, 2009). “We’re very excited to be the first in our market to offer Mobile DTV services to our audience,” WGBH’s Chief Technology Officer Joe Igoe said in a statement. “We see Mobile DTV as a way to expand our ability to deliver services to a broader geographic area on a wider range of devices.” PBS Board members, meeting this week in Arlington, Va., also had an opportunity to take mobile DTV for a test drive during an evening gathering Thursday — which came in handy for at least one March Madness fan. Public broadcasting’s interest in mobile DTV goes back several years (Current, May 27, 2008), and pubcasters heard a lot about it at the NETA confab this January (Current, Jan. 25). Details there included the Open Mobile Video Coalition’s plans for an upcoming mobile DTV demonstration. Eight stations are participating, including PBS affiliate WHUT in D.C., and MHz Networks’ WNVT in suburban Virginia.