(Free) Mobile TV Coming to 22 Cities

There was so much NewTeeVee-related news coming out of CES yesterday that this item slipped under the radar. Mobile TV got a potentially big boost this week as the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) announced that a first wave of broadcasters has committed to launching mobile digital television services in 2009. Sixty-three stations in 22 U.S. cities (roughly 35 percent of U.S. households) say they will provide live, local and national over-the-air digital television to mobile devices.

The OMVC’s plan bypasses mobile carriers, instead using an ATSC broadcasting system that beams the signal directly to the device. As a result, the mobile TV service would be free and ad-supported, running the same commercials included with the broadcast. As The Associated Press points out, broadcasting via over-the-air signals could be more useful in an emergency, as heavy use wouldn’t clog cell networks.

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