Posts tagged ‘Airwaves’
The upcoming spectrum incentive auctions have been a closely monitored issue on this blog, and it was the topic of a recent speech given by NAB’s Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning Rick Kaplan, one of the top experts on spectrum policy. Earlier this week, Kaplan spoke at the Media Institute’s Communications Forum luncheon, focusing on key issues that need to be addressed before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moves forward with the auction.
Kaplan reaffirmed that broadcasters’ goal is to see the spectrum auction done right and with minimal impact on TV viewers so that stations can get on with the business of serving their local communities in traditional and innovative ways.
The FCC’s proposed spectrum incentive auction is the first of its kind, in which the government will offer some number of TV stations money in exchange for their spectrum (airwaves) licenses. In a process known as “repacking,” the TV stations that remain (those that do not want to go out of business) may be shuffled around by the FCC, as the government tries to free up large chunks of contiguous spectrum (airwaves) for wireless companies to use. This very complex process is what concerns TV broadcasters and viewers most. If not executed properly by the government, many TV viewers could be impacted and some will lose their free, local TV service.
In his speech, Kaplan noted the complex task that lies before the FCC, and pointed out some tough economic, engineering and policy questions that need to be addressed, such as:
- How will the FCC attract volunteers (stations that will turn in their spectrum licenses) and determine how much to pay them?
- How can we efficiently and effectively coordinate with Canada and Mexico (where U.S. airwaves overlap) to ensure that TV viewers in border states are not harmed?
- How is the FCC going to reimburse stations that are forced to move in the repacking phase and do so within their budget and the tight timeframe following the auction?
These questions are just a few that must be addressed by the FCC. If not carefully thought out and properly implemented, the spectrum auction will fail either because there will not be enough volunteers to give up spectrum or because the outcome of the auction could result in widespread harmful interference among both television and wireless services.
Kaplan also discussed some of the very challenging engineering questions the agency has yet to address. Most pressing is the FCC’s proposal to take different amounts of spectrum from TV broadcasters in different markets. Kaplan explained why this would lead to massive interference between broadcasters and wireless companies, potentially undermining the entire auction and leaving viewers in the dark.
To avoid this, Kaplan proposed four basic steps to maximize the likelihood of achieving useable and worthwhile nationwide bands of spectrum (airwaves) for the wireless industry:
- First, the FCC should lay out a number of nationwide repacking scenarios explaining how they could shuffle TV stations following the auction. This involves looking at a variety of options and focusing in particular on the more congested television markets.
- Second, from these scenarios the FCC can determine how many stations it needs to participate in the auction to achieve certain spectrum targets, and where those stations must be.
- Third, the FCC should estimate how much revenue it would, under each scenario, raise nationwide in a spectrum auction.
- And finally, the FCC should take its nationwide estimate and use those funds to ensure it entices volunteers in the markets where it really requires participants.
Kaplan ended his remarks by urging the FCC to work closely with all stakeholders in the auction process. To read Kaplan’s remarks in their entirety, please click here.
Broadcasters’ number one concern is for our TV viewers and ensuring that stations can continue to provide services – both traditional and new, such as mobile TV – for those who rely on free, local television.
Another Olympics has come and gone, but the 2012 Olympic Games in London holds a special place among broadcast TV viewers. The 2012 games scored the highest prime-time broadcast ratings for summer games held outside of the USA since the 1976 games in Montreal, and up 12 percent from the Beijing games in 2008.
From Michael Phelps to the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, millions of viewers tuned in to their televisions each night to cheer on their favorite athletes as they fought for the gold. An average of 31.5 million Americans per night cheered on Michael Phelps from their couches as he became the most decorated Olympian of all time, ending his Olympic career with 22 medals and Gabby Douglas go gold as the first African American gymnast to win the all-around .
While most people watched the game on their televisions, social media also played a large role, confirming that Americans enjoy amplifying their TV experience and sharing their thoughts with friends as they watch.
The London games saw a significant increase in Facebook and Twitter presence, connecting Olympics fans across the globe with their favorite athletes and other fans. Viewer favorites Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt were the athletes with the largest jump in both followers on Facebook and Twitter: Phelps added one million Twitter followers at the games, bringing him to 1.2 million followers and 800,000 Facebook fans; and Bolt added 725,000 followers, bringing his total Twitter followers to 1.36 million and adding 700,000 Facebook fans.
Another big change for the 2012 games was digital presence. In addition to viewing the games on broadcast TV, viewers had the option of live streaming the events. While a daily average of 8.56 million Americans took advantage of this new coverage from broadcast TV (up 133 percent from the Beijing games), the majority still turned to broadcast TV to watch their favorites bring home the gold.
The record-breaking viewership of the Olympic Games is another example of television’s power to connect communities, nations and individuals across the globe. And airing the games on broadcast TV – available to everyone, not just those with cable or satellite – meant all Americans had the opportunity to share in the patriotism of watching their favorite athletes bring home the gold for Team USA!
If you’re feeling the loss of the excitement of the Olympics today, just remember the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be here before in 542 days! And viewers know that they can turn to their broadcast TV to experience the memorable moments yet to come.
What was your favorite part of the Olympics? When and where did you watch? Tell us in the comments!
Samsung and MetroPCS unveil new smartphone with live, local TV!
An exciting development in the future of TV occurred last week when wireless carrier MetroPCS and Samsung Mobile unveiled the new Samsung Galaxy S® LightrayTM 4G*. This Android™ smartphone is the first in the U.S. to offer live, local broadcast television with Dyle™ mobile TV.
Now consumers can stay informed and entertained on the go with the same local and national sports, news and entertainment programming on your mobile phones as you receive on your TV at home. This is live TV, not streaming. And because it uses the TV airwaves, not the Internet, it does not count against your data cap. Also, unlike streaming video over the Internet, an unlimited number of viewers can watch on their smartphones at the same time without buffering.
This service is currently available in 35 markets, reaching over 55 percent of the US population. Additional markets and stations will be added in the future.
Mobile TV can be used anywhere that the TV spectrum can reach, no need for an Internet connection or WiFi access. So where will you watch mobile TV? On your commute to work? Waiting to pick the kids up from school? At the stadium during the big game? Tell us in the comments below!
Wouldn’t it be nice to take your favorite morning show with you on the commute to work – not missing a minute of the breaking news or local weather?
With more than 120 stations across the country broadcasting mobile television signals, the future of TV is here – and it’s mobile. With numerous local broadcast stations transmitting mobile TV signals, and more consumer devices and adapters coming to the market, soon it will be very easy for consumers to get free mobile broadcast television on their laptops, tablets and smartphones. Best of all, the service does not require a data plan or hefty mobile data charges, because the signal is sent for free over-the-air.
Check out our new video that features mobile television providers Dyle mobile TV and the Mobile 500 Alliance demonstrating the devices and adapters built by manufacturers like Samsung and Belkin that run their mobile TV services. Watch the video below to see how you can get your local news, sports, weather, entertainment and lifesaving emergency information anywhere, anytime:
The beginning of June marked the official start of hurricane season, and once again, local radio and television stations are ready to keep their communities safe and informed wherever and whenever weather emergencies strike.
Ten members of Congress delivered statements on the House floor acknowledging the vital role that broadcasters play during severe weather emergencies by providing early warnings and disaster relief when the unthinkable happens.
The following members delivered statements (view video of members’ statements):
Reps. Gus Bilirakis (FL-09), Hansen Clarke (MI-13), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Billy Long (MO-07), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04), Ted Poe (TX-02), Laura Richardson (CA-37), David Scott (GA-13), Joe Wilson (SC-02) and Todd Young (IN-09).
In addition, four members submitted statements to the Congressional Record:
Even Federal Emergency Management Association administrator Craig Fugate has acknowledged that broadcast radio and TV is the best way to stay up-to-date on severe weather information when disaster strikes. And broadcasters are now poised to deliver this lifesaving information to Americans on the go.
There are more than 100 TV stations nationwide delivering mobile signals to smartphones and tablets, and several models of smartphones feature broadcast radio. Because broadcast signals are sent “over the air,” even when cell towers are congested or down, local broadcasters are able to reach mass audiences with critical information through smartphones and tablets. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you this summer, and don’t forget to tune into your local broadcast stations to get all the information you need to stay safe.
The bad news is that June 1 marks the start of hurricane season. The good news, however, is that you can stay safe by tuning in to your local TV and radio stations to get critical emergency information. And many of you can tune in on the go using your smartphone or tablet, even if power lines are down and cell networks are congested.
How is that possible? More stations than ever before are broadcasting mobile channels. Mobile TV is delivered from your local stations to your mobile device using over-the-air technology, not wireless networks. Not only does that mean you can still receive local emergency information even when cell towers are down, but it also means there are no additional data streaming charges.
Your phone will need to be enabled with a chip – check here to see if your device already has those capabilities built-in. If it is not, consumers in many areas can purchase a USB flash drive-sized mobile TV receiver for their laptop or tablet, like the DTV111 from Coby Electronics. Watch this short video to get a glimpse of how this technology works.
Radio-enabled mobile phones provide another way for consumers to get vital emergency information when storms are looming. Again, even when cell towers are down or congested, radio-enabled phones are able to receive local broadcasts over-the-air, keeping you informed and safe. For a list of radio-enabled phones from major wireless carriers, click here.
Broadcasters take their role as first informers very seriously and local stations around the country are innovating to keep viewers safe and meet your needs of on-demand information.
Remember, when the storms roll in your local broadcasters will help you stay safe and stay informed!
The annual NAB Show always dazzles attendees with the latest broadcast innovations and gadgets, and this year was no exception. The growing adoption of mobile television took center stage at this year’s show, with many vendors demonstrating new consumer devices that will hit stores this summer.
We caught up with John Lawson from the Mobile 500 Alliance and asked about his company’s new mobile TV offerings. The Mobile 500 Alliance service includes 437 individual stations and reaches 94% of the U.S. population. This summer, it will also be available via an iPhone/iPad app with the purchase of a small adapter, and will include over-the-air mobile TV broadcasts with no monthly fees or hefty mobile data charges. It even includes DVR functionality to record and pause live TV!
Watch our interview with John Lawson and see a demo of the Mobile 500 service below:
Last week’s ATSC Annual Meeting featured discussions of mind-blowing future broadcast innovations such as UltraHD and broadcast 3D TV, but much of the attention of the meeting was focused on the emerging innovation of mobile DTV. This means live, local TV on the go straight from your local stations with no data streaming charges!
Following the event, we caught up with a variety of featured conference speakers, including:
- Mark Richer, President, ATSC
- Kelly Williams, Senior Director, Technology, NAB
- Erik Moreno, Dyle Mobile TV
- Jay Adrick, Vice President, Harris Broadcasting
We asked each of them about the impressive adoption of mobile DTV by broadcasters and the various consumer devices that are coming to market later this year that allow viewers to get over-the-air broadcast TV signals on their mobile devices without any hefty mobile data charges. I think you’ll be amazed at what mobile DTV has in store for viewers now and in the very near future:
The Future of TV certainly looked bright at this week’s Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) Annual Meeting. The meeting attracted the television industry’s premier broadcasters, engineers and other revolutionary leaders who are charged with developing the standards for broadcast innovations now and in the future. This year’s meeting included deep discussions on exciting broadcast innovations like improving mobile TV, incorporating standards for UltraHD and setting standards for broadcast 3D TV.
Early in the day, Leonardo Chiariglione, chairman and co-founder of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), delivered a keynote address on the innovations and standards that will help shape the future of HDTV. Other panels took a closer look at some of the broadcasters who are already achieving great things with mobile TV – like equipping city buses with transmitters to help get the technology into consumers’ hands.
Throughout the day it was clear that viewers’ interests were at the forefront of everyone’s minds. This wasespecially evident in the concluding panel, which touched on the importance of allowing smartphone and tablet users to access high quality video programming, including live, local TV, without having to incur hefty mobile data charges.
Check back soon for more posts on the ATSC meeting, including interviews and video highlights featuring the latest trends and innovations in broadcasting for viewers like you.
In times of weather emergencies you need immediate access to information that will keep you and your family safe. And more than anywhere else, Americans turn to their local TV and radio stations to keep them informed.
Broadcasters understand better than anyone that seconds count when a storm is approaching. As first informers, local TV stations around the country are innovating to keep viewers safe and meet your needs of on-demand information.
One station, KWCH in Kansas, is an excellent example of the hard work of stations to deliver critical information in emergency situations. Incorporating Facebook, Twitter, mobile apps for news and weather, and of course over-the-air AND live-streaming free and local TV, KWCH brings information to viewers in numerous ways to keep people safe and save lives.
Watch what it takes to quickly pull all the information together in real time and keep viewers up-to-date on changing weather conditions.
Tell us—how do you stay informed during times of an emergency? Have local radio and TV been a lifeline for you?