updated 04:25 pm EDT, Fri April 17, 2009
LG mobile DTV chips
LG Electronics on Friday announced it will begin shipping mobile digital television (DTV) receiver chips this June. The LG2160A chips will allow the mobile devices they are installed in to receive mobile DTV broadcasting in the United States. Supporting the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard approved late last year, the chips will bring local news, weather, traffic and emergency information to users on the go, and may also eventually include entertainment programming.
The standard will let broadcasters use a portion of the current 19.3Mbps DTV channel capacity to transmit data. The signal is compatible with the 8-VSB DTV signal developed by LG's US research lab, Zenith. The chips will have an automatic power saving mode built-in. They have demodulating and equalization functions and output IP packet streams to enable audio and video decoding in compatible receivers.
At the 2009 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention to be held in Las Vegas next week, manufacturers will show off handheld TVs, mobile phone, automotive systems and notebook computers with the LG2160A prototype chips.
Unlike the subscription-based FLO TV (formerly MediaFLO) network used by AT&T and Verizon, the ATSC Mobile Digital TV will allow broadcasters to stream content to all compatible devices. Broadcasters have said they plan to launch mobile DTV on over 60 stations in 22 cities, covering about 35 percent of US television households.