How Long for Portable DTV Radio? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 04-04-2008, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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A bit off topic, but this is HDTV reception related, if only the audio portion...

I imagine more than a few of us have owned radio's that have AM/FM/TV bands. On occasion, the ability to listen to TV audio has been really handy. With the change to DTV broadcasting, I'm assuming the audio from most tv stations will no longer be able to be received by these tuners.

So how long before we're likely to see audio-only DTV tuners built into portable radios? We already have ATSC tuners in USB thumb drives, but I know these use CPU processing that would have to be replaced by hardware in a standalone radio. Size and power consumption would be hurdles I imagine.

I've read that development is underway for portable HD-Radio radios able to play the HD-1 and HD-2 digital radio stations. A really cool device would be a Digital Walkman Radio with HD-Radio tuner as well as a DTV tuner for the audio portion of digital tv broadcasts.
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post #2 of 29 Old 04-04-2008, 08:41 AM
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Good question.

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post #3 of 29 Old 04-04-2008, 09:00 AM
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This is a question I've asked before also, and two broadcast engineers both said they have not seen any radio's with digital tuners for the TV band, or battery operated TV's for DT. This is particularly discouraging, especially for those of us in Hurricane zones.
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post #4 of 29 Old 04-04-2008, 10:08 AM
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Probably a better solution would be a combo radio/weather radio. It'll give you probably as much if not more info than what might be on TV in an emergency situation.
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post #5 of 29 Old 04-04-2008, 01:04 PM
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A "DTV Radio" isn't going to be all that much if any easier to build than a portable DTV. If that's all you want, go buy one of the CECBs and something that can amplify the audio out on it.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #6 of 29 Old 04-04-2008, 03:38 PM
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It'll probably be about the same complexity as a standard ATSC receiver, since audio and video aren't transmitted in separate frequency spaces like with NTSC (the audio and video streams are multiplexed into an MPEG-2 transport stream and modulated onto the 8-VSB carrier in that form, so you have to extract the transport stream, demulitplex out just the audio, and of course decode Dolby Digital, and do appropriate channel mixing).

Unfortunately, if you're in any sort of motion while receiving 8-VSB ATSC, you'll probably get very poor signal quality - it does not deal well with the Doppler shifting induced by motion, causing serious reception problems (like if you're in the car and trying to listen to the audio part of an ATSC broadcast). Dunno if such a thing will be considered worthwhile by anyone to actually make, because of the reception difficulties.
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post #7 of 29 Old 04-04-2008, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4yqt View Post

There are battery operated portable Digital ATSC TVs out now...Best Buy's Insignia brand has a 5" & 7"..there's a lot of them on eBay..

I have 3 of those. They work fine with an external antenna. And quite poorly with the built in telescopic antenna.Probably why I got them for $50 each on fleabay.If you mount a silver sensor on atop a hard hat and connect up you'd be fine. Just make sure you get the hard hat that holds two beer cans as well.

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post #8 of 29 Old 04-04-2008, 05:42 PM
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I'v just taken a Samsung TVDA1000 powered antenna, and removed the preamp. The PCB antenna works quite well with the Insignia portable Tv.
I'm gonna mount the two together with rubber bands and see how much better it does in some places I have tested before with the telescopic antenna.

http://www.hdtvantennalabs.com/anten...-TVDA1000.html

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post #9 of 29 Old 04-05-2008, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4yqt View Post

Actually, down here in South Florida (Hurricane Capital) they would be a necessity during storms, like hurricanes, tropical storms, etc. when you have a power outage.

People also bring portable, hand held TVs to the stadiums during games like football, baseball, etc. to watch the replays and listen to the commentators.

Well, I have to toot my own industry's horn by mentioning that you'll still have plenty of analog radio available in case of a disaster. And analog radio eats fewer batteries than a digital tv receiver will. Just sayin' ...Don't shoot me.

As for sports, I can understand wanting to watch a replay, but it's the delay that would drive me nuts during live plays. We already kill the HD Radio stream and dump the profanity delay when we're carrying a local sporting event that's at home just so what you hear is in real time if you're at the game.

Still, I'm not trashing portable digital televisions. I'm pretty sure my industry is hoping they don't catch on just so you have to listen to OUR coverage of sporting events. Personally, I'd kill to have a DTV receiver built in to my dash radio so I could at least listento the local TV news when I'm out and about. I've always been a bit flummoxed by the lack of analog television audio receivers in car stereos. I figure that's also my industry's doing. (shakes fist and will probably receive a memo from the head office for doing so).

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post #10 of 29 Old 04-05-2008, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4yqt View Post

As The Buggles once said, "Video Killed the Radio Star"!

LOL!!!!! Maybe, but I still kick The CBS Early Show's rump every morning!


Ok, bad example

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post #11 of 29 Old 04-05-2008, 07:53 AM
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I would be interested in something like this, also. I have an original C Crane radio that receives audio from NTSC 2-13. I also use an Auto Talk converter in my pickup and work vehicle. They allow the main receiver to tune in AM 530 kHz (or one other frequency) and then convert it to the TV audio. In fact, this does the whole range of US NTSC channels. If have been giving some thought to what I will do next year since I like to listen to the local news in the daytime while I am in the car. And I am in the car all day during normal works hours. We have local news broadcasts from 11:00 AM to noon. And a competing station has one from noon to 12:30 PM. Unless something better comes along, I figure I have several options once NTSC goes away.

1) Portable ATSC television

2) ATSC tuner in a laptop computer

3) Slingbox at home and view remotely through laptop with EVDO aircard

4) Garmin Nuvi 5000 GPS with a CECB (DTV)


Along a related thought since we have brought up HD radio, I have sometimes thought that the broadcasters are missing an opportunity. You have radio broadcasters that could care less about the HD-2 and HD-3 programming and you have some listeners that may like to hear the audio of certain TV programming. Why not have agreements between certain TV stations and neighboring radio stations to carry the audio portion of at least some programming from ATSC onto the HD-2 or HD-3 of some local radio stations?

Now if you are in the Italian market you have a GPS with TV already built in! https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=134&pID=14807
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post #12 of 29 Old 04-05-2008, 08:23 AM
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Dr. Don, what's a listener supposed to do in a market where the stick owners have dumped the local talent, and there's nobody around to even do a rip 'n read newsbreak? Some stations don't even have an engineer on duty to cut to a NOAA weather alert. Many broadcast groups seem determined to devalue their licenses by abandoning their audience.
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post #13 of 29 Old 04-05-2008, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonfoo View Post

It'll probably be about the same complexity as a standard ATSC receiver, since audio and video aren't transmitted in separate frequency spaces like with NTSC (the audio and video streams are multiplexed into an MPEG-2 transport stream and modulated onto the 8-VSB carrier in that form, so you have to extract the transport stream, demulitplex out just the audio, and of course decode Dolby Digital, and do appropriate channel mixing).

The tuner can is the same, but dropping the MPEG decoding should result in a significant decrease in cost and power consumption.
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post #14 of 29 Old 04-05-2008, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post

Why not have agreements between certain TV stations and neighboring radio stations to carry the audio portion of at least some programming from ATSC onto the HD-2 or HD-3 of some local radio stations?

Dicey for a number of reasons:

1) TV stations do not get ratings credit for that. And their programmers, like ours, feel that anyone getting the programming by any means other than watching it via their transmissions is a lost set of eyes that could affect ratings. (again, don't shoot the messenger)

2) Retransmitting network programming would require a completely separate deal with the originating network and would most likely require some form of compensation for actors, writers, etc, since it's an additional avenue for the distribution of their work.

3) Ditto for any commercials that are carried. The radio station would be obligated to pay residuals to the actors. Sounds nuts, but that's why the webstream of most radio stations either carry a separate set of commercials or none at all (our web stream runs promos and fill music to cover the on-air commercial breaks)

4) Radio-exclusive broadcast rights. Radio stations pay through the nose for broadcast rights for sports and part of that deal is radio exclusivity. If WXXX HD3 carried the audio from the local CBS affiliate ...but WYYY has the radio coverage of the local NFL AFC team, it's gonna get messy.

5) None of this precludes radio stations from entering into retransmission agreements of locally-originated television programming. There are a number of TV program directors who look upon having radio carriage of their nightly newscasts as additional promotion of the brand. And there are some symbiotic relationships between O&O stations. For example, WWJ-AM carries "60 Minutes." Both are CBS properties and the local CBS TV affiliate is also owned-and-operated. Which leads us to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Picspop View Post

Dr. Don, what's a listener supposed to do in a market where the stick owners have dumped the local talent, and there's nobody around to even do a rip 'n read newsbreak?

In cases such as that, somebody if not everybody has retransmission agreements worked out with television stations to carry their audio so long as they're not in network programming. We had that arrangement at WUBE in Cincinnati with Channel 5. We had to watch and make sure to dump them whenever they went to the Network. Here in Detroit, we have an all-news AM which will end up simulcasted on most if not all of the CBS-owned FMs in case of a disaster.

Finally, there's the good ol' supposedly idiot-proof Emergency Broadcast System which is designed to override regular programming automatically. But since this is a thread for portable DTV receivers, we'd best leave that discussion for some other board

Doc

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post #15 of 29 Old 04-05-2008, 01:31 PM
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I'd asked about this a couple of months back and was pretty disappointed by the answers I got...that is, there isn't much out (yet) in the way of portable DTV. I've got a hand-held color TV that I use when the power goes out...just nice to have to watch local news in such situations. I've also got a couple of portable Sony radios that have TV band (as well as AM/FM/Weather) that come in handy when there's no power. It's a darned shame that it seems these will be affected as well by the changeover next February. At least the radios will still be useful...but the little TV may as well be a paperweight, I guess.

I asked about portable DTVs last time I was in the local Radio Shack, and the fellow I was talking to didn't know when they'd get anything like that in. They didn't even have the Accurian in stock. (BTW the one I've seen on their web site is pretty pricey, for something that size...just IMO.)

Guess we'll have to wait until next year to see what else comes out as far as portable TVs that will still work. IF there are any other choices. Those of us who care about this may be in the minority, but I wish someone with the power to decide all this stuff re: digital changeover would have thought ahead a bit about those of us who DO want some kind of portable DTV choices.

DGK
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post #16 of 29 Old 06-27-2008, 06:46 AM
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Everyone seems to be forgetting about the blind.

They rely heavily on the simple to use, low cost dial tuning TV band radios.

The current radios available on the market contain no warning that they will no longer function after the transition.

One of my friends wishes to petition the FCC to stop the change, and fine retailers and manufactures of the currently available radios, until a resonable solution can be found.
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post #17 of 29 Old 06-27-2008, 08:06 AM
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Im thinking some of you miss the point. The oriiginal questioner
wanted to know when DTV audio woud be included in a portable
radio such as AM/FM/TV.... as the chips gets cheaper for the tuner
this is a possibility but have to remember the processing power for ATSC
uses a lot of battery.


John
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post #18 of 29 Old 06-27-2008, 06:27 PM
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Some stores do post the "This device has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box" notice on tv band radios!

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!! And now the deadline has been extended again!
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post #19 of 29 Old 06-28-2008, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEIC0M View Post

Everyone seems to be forgetting about the blind.

They rely heavily on the simple to use, low cost dial tuning TV band radios.

The current radios available on the market contain no warning that they will no longer function after the transition.

One of my friends wishes to petition the FCC to stop the change, and fine retailers and manufactures of the currently available radios, until a resonable solution can be found.

Everyone is NOT forgetting about the blind! The DTV system has the capability for multiple audio services, including descriptive audio for the vision-impaired viewer.

TV band radios are not "relied upon." Maybe the perception is that they are all you need if you can't see the picture, but that's not always the best way to go. I also don't know how easy these TV band radios are to use if you can't see. Slide-rule tuning is difficult enough for the sighted. Guess what? TVs also receive audio, and I would venture a guess that a TV remote is a lot easier to use that a TV band radio.

Petitioning the FCC to stop the DTV conversion is just plain foolish and speaks to an agenda that couldn't care less about the vision-impaired. Maybe that's what "you friend" wants.

For disaster information in an emergency, use the RADIO! You will always be able to find a station broadcasting news and information in your area. They won't all be knocked off the air. Batteries last a long time in these radios, and (unless it was carried off in a tornado) you have a really big battery in your car. TV coverage of a disaster is for people who are not in the disaster area, but just want to pretend they are.
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post #20 of 29 Old 06-28-2008, 09:58 AM
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A television or television audio could indeed certainly be good in a disaster in
ADDITION to radio. As lots of Stations remain on the air..Folks can move to
the tower even if necessary.

Does anyone remember Katrina?

Two stations remained on the air throughout with alternate facilities, this
was helpful..


John
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post #21 of 29 Old 06-28-2008, 11:10 AM
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Here is some info from the Arbitron site (ratings service.) There is also a long paper describing the use of radio during previous hurricanes.

Note: Just because this comes from a company allied with the radio induustry doesn't mean it is fabricated.

=========

http://www.arbitron.com/radio_statio...k_comments.htm

Arbitron Diarykeepers Remind Radio of Its Power and Influence During Troubled Times

Diary comments from Hurricane Katrina markets underscore the necessity of radio during a storm and, more importantly, when there is no power.
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post #22 of 29 Old 06-28-2008, 02:32 PM
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Sure I agree.. but having a portable tv with batteries in an emergency is not a
bad idea in addition to a proper radio.





In other words Radio a must have.
A Television a nice to have.

John
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post #23 of 29 Old 08-19-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase View Post

Everyone is NOT forgetting about the blind! The DTV system has the capability for multiple audio services, including descriptive audio for the vision-impaired viewer.

TV band radios are not "relied upon." Maybe the perception is that they are all you need if you can't see the picture, but that's not always the best way to go. I also don't know how easy these TV band radios are to use if you can't see. Slide-rule tuning is difficult enough for the sighted. Guess what? TVs also receive audio, and I would venture a guess that a TV remote is a lot easier to use that a TV band radio.

Petitioning the FCC to stop the DTV conversion is just plain foolish and speaks to an agenda that couldn't care less about the vision-impaired. Maybe that's what "you friend" wants.

For disaster information in an emergency, use the RADIO! You will always be able to find a station broadcasting news and information in your area. They won't all be knocked off the air. Batteries last a long time in these radios, and (unless it was carried off in a tornado) you have a really big battery in your car. TV coverage of a disaster is for people who are not in the disaster area, but just want to pretend they are.

Ever BEEN through a major hurricane?? I doubt it...because when Rita and Katrina hit, EVERY radio station (and TV for that matter) DID go off the air at some time.....WWL AM in New Orleans went off the air for many hours because of loss of power (the generator ran out of fuel too); not to mention the studios being flooded at many stations..In the Beaumont TX area during Rita, the TV stations abandoned the area due to a MANDATORY evac....only radio station that stayed (KLVI) lost power many times due to transmitter site or studios losing power at different times (and yes the gens there ran out of fuel too!) THEY DID stay on more than anyone else but they were not on ALL the time and NOONE else was on when they went off!.....in a Cat 3, 4 or 5, its GET OUT OF TOWN if you live on the coast....I have been through several Cat 1s, 3, and one 5....I ALWAYS leave town if its a 3 or above (So does the local power utility company who I used to work for...its not worth it staying IN the area)
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post #24 of 29 Old 08-19-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnied View Post

A television or television audio could indeed certainly be good in a disaster in
ADDITION to radio. As lots of Stations remain on the air..Folks can move to
the tower even if necessary.

Does anyone remember Katrina?

Two stations remained on the air throughout with alternate facilities, this
was helpful..


John

And which ones were that??? NOONE stayed on the air all the time....WWL AM (770) was off the air many times because of Katrina....one of its towers had its doghouse flooded iirc....I know of NO station in NO that stayed on all the time...in fact, the former Chief Egr of Clear Channel NO, Paul Burt, left the area for safety when told to by authorities, came back in right after it cleared and tried to get the stations back up and running...and did!!!..and then was let go by Cheap Channel..REAL nice of them idiots.....but then NOONE said Clear Channel was run by smart folks...more like smart a--es
...Especially John Hogan...and his cronies
Paul is in a better job now and deserved better treatment than he got by the Creep Channel jerks.

Excuse me if I seem a little heartless, but considering Cameron La was WIPED by Rita as it hit with a 20ft wall of water and EVERYONE got out of town when told to (including the last hold out who was going to be placed under arrest and was told by the local sherrif, "you wanna be under arrest? You see that window there on the second story where the jail is? THATs where you will be when that hurricane hits and you get to see the wall of water about to hit there"...HE LEFT!) , ANYONE who stays when a Cat 3 or higher is coming directly for them, DESERVES what happens to them...if they are NOT smart/intelligent enough to get out, then they dont belong in the human gene pool..even my DOGS know to LEAVE when told....my opinion and Im sticking to it!!! so there.
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post #25 of 29 Old 10-10-2008, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaker74 View Post

Probably a better solution would be a combo radio/weather radio. It'll give you probably as much if not more info than what might be on TV in an emergency situation.

I work in manufacturing. I work evenings, second shift.

There are around 25 AM/FM/TV/Weather radios scattered about the place, most of them sold in the $20-30 range.

I listen to the even news on mine, some listen to evening programs and the dayshifters sometimes listen to their soaps on them. They are also great as a counterpoint to NOAA during extreme weather events.

I can guarantee that my factory is not unique in this practice of listening to TV radios. We are not allowed to have TV's. A portable ATSC TV will not work for us.

Where are the ATSC Radios?
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post #26 of 29 Old 10-12-2008, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

A "DTV Radio" isn't going to be all that much if any easier to build than a portable DTV. If that's all you want, go buy one of the CECBs and something that can amplify the audio out on it.

I think that's too pessimistic. A portable DTV needs at least a 640x400 display with an always-on backlight. A DTV radio could probably get by with a 4-digit (or at most a cheap low-res dot matrix) LCD with a backlight that turns off after a few seconds. That would save a lot of power, not to mention the complexity of decoding the video portion of the digital data stream.

The CECB suggestion would work if you could rig a battery-operated power supply and don't mind "flying blind" when actually using it. You'd need a TV for the initial setup, though, and it'd use more power than a true DTV radio, since a lot of power and processing would be used creating composite video and RF signals that aren't needed.
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post #27 of 29 Old 05-29-2009, 03:55 AM
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Anything new on this? I've been a regular AutoTalk user for the past nine years, for both TV audio and weatherband. What are the alternatives for receiving TV audio in your car now?
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post #28 of 29 Old 07-13-2009, 10:24 AM
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In my area I have three alternatives to my AutoTalk, although not particularly viable for most people:

-some TV Broadcasters occasionally have their audio feed on AM/FM broadcast

-one local broadcaster has its news feed on the internet

-some broadcasters transmit an IFB on 161.640-161.760 mHz or somewhere between 450 and 450.9875 mHz

I see that Best Buy has a portable HD radio available. HD radio, much like ATSC, has long been thought to be too bulky and too power hungry for a portable application. It will be interesting to see how well it works. One of the bad things about ATSC, of course, is that while in motion the audio can't decode. The forthcoming mobile "standard" may only be a year off as evidenced by this report sent to me this morning:



Two years’ worth of work by broadcasters and technology vendors to
develop a way for stations to transmit video to cellphones, laptops and
other portable devices is starting to produce tangible results. A
multi-station trial of the new mobile digital TV (DTV) technology kicks
off in Washington, D.C., later this month, and a formal technical
standard is expected by September. Individual stations in markets such
as New York and Raleigh, N.C., are already broadcasting mobile DTV
full-time, and a total of 70 stations across 28 markets have pledged to
offer mobile DTV streams by year-end.

While the business models for mobile DTV are still being worked out, the
technology got a boost toward commercialization last week when the
Advanced Television Systems Committee, the U.S. digital TV standards
body, raised the candidate ATSC-Mobile/Handheld (ATSC-M/H) standard to
“proposed standard” status. A final standard could be in place by
September, paving the way for consumer receiver devices to hit retail
shelves in 2010.

“What we’ve all been shooting for is a complete standard by the end of
the year, and there is no reason for concern in meeting that objective,”
says Mark Aitken, director of advanced technology for Sinclair Broadcast
Group and chair of the ATSC specialist group that drafted the ATSC-M/H
standard.

Much of the standards work, including technology evaluations and field
trials, has been spearheaded by the Open Mobile Video Coalition, a group
of some 800 stations that have come together to promote mobile DTV. OMVC
members helped broker a deal in May 2008 between consumer electronics
giants LG and Samsung to avoid a prolonged standards battle between the
two companies’ competing mobile DTV systems.

Since then, OMVC has kept pushing the process, announcing commercial
rollout plans at the Consumer Electronics Show last January. The group
selected Atlanta and Seattle as markets where “model stations” such as
Gannett’s WATL and Belo’s KONG are broadcasting mobile DTV streams that
vendors can use to check the performance of their products.

OMVC’s latest project is the seven-station mobile DTV trial in
Washington, expected to go live by the end of the month. Participating
stations include Ion’s WPXW; Gannett’s WUSA, a CBS affiliate; Fox’s
WDCA; NBC’s WRC; WHUT, a PBS station owned and operated by Howard
University; WNVT, the home of multicasting service MHz Networks; and
WNUV, the CW affiliate in Baltimore run by Sinclair. The initial plan is
for each station to broadcast a minimum of two mobile channels apiece,
along with some electronic service-guide and alert data.

While initially billed as a consumer trial, the first phase of the work
in D.C. will be to conduct “conformance testing” of some 20 vendors’
products, using the ATSC-M/H standard as it stood at NAB (software
upgrades should be able to reconcile existing mobile DTV gear with the
final standard). Real-world testing by consumers will comprise the
second phase of the project and likely won’t happen until early 2010,
when a meaningful volume of receiver devices should be available.

“Right now, we’re pulling together a full platform and all the partners,
so we’re able to receive all the channels this summer,” says OMVC
Executive Director Anne Schelle. “We won’t have consumers running around
with anything until January.”

The scarcity of prototype ATSC-M/H receivers is one challenge facing the
industry. Engineers say there are only about two dozen prototype
cellphones around the country, along with a smattering of USB “dongle”
receivers that can be plugged into a laptop.

“We’re really at a stage like the initial launch of DTV back in 1998,”
says ION VP of Technology Brett Jenkins. “There are almost going to be
more transmitters transmitting mobile than receive devices on the
market, and that’s probably what you’ll see for the next six to nine
months.”

Obviously, cellphone manufacturers aren’t going to rush to mass-produce
ATSC-M/H-capable handsets until a final standard is in place and, more
important, broadcasters have reached some agreement with wireless
carriers on making their mobile DTV programming available to
subscribers. However, there is a range of devices besides cellphones
that could offer mobile DTV reception capability, such as accessory USB
dongles, netbooks, portable DVD players and in-car displays.

LG, which developed the base transmission system for ATSC-M/H in
partnership with Harris, began producing receiver chips in volume last
month, according to VP of Public Affairs John Taylor, and is providing
samples to third-party manufacturers, including makers of USB dongles.
LG’s focus through the fourth quarter is on building more receivers to
support trials like the one in Washington. But Taylor says LG is on
track to ship retail product next year.

“We anticipate having product in the market for consumers to purchase in
2010,” Taylor says. “We haven’t announced any specific product plans or
timing. But we’ve already had very positive discussions with retailers,
and they’re excited about the opportunity.”

It looks like that came from here:
http://www.broadcastnewsroom.com/art....jsp?id=795920
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I now have a somewhat different solution. I bought the Dish Network Sling Adapter. It is connected to my Dish Network 722k. I use my Garminfone on wifi and I can watch or listen around the house.

I think it would be slick if Best Buy would have something like this for Mobile DTV audio.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....egories&ks=960
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