Samsung introduced the Moment smartphone at CTIA. The significance of the announcement is less about it being Samsung’s first Android handheld device, as the Moment has been available at Sprint since aurumn 2009. It is more about it being the first cellular handset to feature “true” mobile TV connectivity in the United States via the emerging ATSC Mobile DTV technology. ATSC Mobile DTV enables “free-to-air” (FTA) mobile DTV services from local broadcasters and cable TV operators. Live and linear DTV programming will soon be simulcast from most local broadcast stations throughout the US, such as KVVU Channel 5 in Las Vegas, to a proliferation of mobile devices, such as mobile Internet devices (MIDs), automotive rear seat infotainment systems and multimedia cellular handsets.
FTA mobile DTV services have been widely available in Japan and South Korea for years and have driven a high rate of adoption of mobile DTV services in those regional markets, due to the desire of most mobile consumers to enjoy their local TV channels while away from their living rooms. Not only has it supported consumer awareness of the value-add of mobile DTV services, but it has also driven the potentially lucrative adoption of premium “TV 2.0” services over cellular unicast networks, such as SprintTV. TV 2.0 is the convergence of delayed, recorded and syndicated DTV programs with popular Web 2.0 applications, such as Facebook social networking and Twitter multimedia blogging, and enhanced with personalization, location, presence and community features.
Mobile DTV services in the US will be widely available by next year’s CTIA as they are currently being showcased in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore local regions. There are some understandable kinks to be smoothed out over the year, such as integrated mobile DTV and TV 2.0 electronic programming guides that can be accessed on the mobile device by one mobile widget and embedded antennas, but it is a relief to finally witness a true mobile DTV device and service. And, of course, the availability of more mobile DTV-enabled devices and the monetization of the services through advertisement, as that is the traditional terrestrial DTV business model.
But, for now we should just enjoy the Moment and stay tuned…