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Bureau Waiver Fosters Innovation and Competition in the Mobile DTV Marketplace

July 27th, 2010 by William Lake - Chief of the Media Bureau

The Media Bureau’s recent decision to waive some of the tuner requirements for Mobile DTV devices not only gives manufacturers greater flexibility in how they design and market these new receivers, it ensures the devices can be in the hands of consumers in  time for the 2010 holiday season.  Mobile DTV, or MDTV, is a kind of television service designed for use on-the-go instead of in a single location.

Current FCC rules require that all television receivers have the ability to get both digital and analog signals.  Although full-power television stations stopped broadcasting in analog last year, the analog broadcast standard remains in use by some low-power broadcasters.  Until the requirement is removed, television manufacturers must ask the Commission’s approval if they want to produce a device without an analog tuner. 

A group of Mobile DTV manufacturers recently asked for this approval which, among other things, would eliminate their having to produce a potentially larger, heavier and pricier device that uses more power.  We promptly approved their request, furthering the Commission’s commitment to foster innovation and competition in the marketplace. 

Where the service is available, consumers will be able to watch live MDTV on compliant netbooks, smartphones and portable TVs in their cars.  Many MDTV devices also will be able to receive standard television.  Look on the packaging to see whether a particular model receives MDTV signals only or if it also gets nationwide standard DTV signals.  The device will not only provide news and entertainment while on the move, it will be another way to receive critical information in times of emergency.

2 Responses to “Bureau Waiver Fosters Innovation and Competition in the Mobile DTV Marketplace”

  1. Doller says:

    I totally agree with this guy. If they can figure out then how to get a MDTV signal to work. Today's Marketplace Offers a Wide Variety of Video Devices and ... innovation the Notice intends to promote. I can afford cable or dish but everybody can't.

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  2. Guest says:

    If they can figure out how to get a MDTV signal to work, maybe they can figure out how to get a standard DTV signal to work. When the transition occurred, I lost the majority of my television reception. I cannot afford cable or dish. I probably will not be able to afford MDTV either.

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