If you're able to watch TV on your iPhone or iPod touch right now, you're probably having something streamed to your handheld device. That may change -- your phone may soon be equipped with a digital TV tuner to pick up the signals sent out by your local stations.
The Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC) announced on Friday that they've agreed on a standard that will let local TV stations broadcast directly to mobile devices on their existing frequencies. The devices that can be equipped to pick up the ATSC Mobile DTV signals include mobile phones, laptops, handheld TVs, and even in-vehicle digital TVs.
ATSC Mobile DTV will be completely different from the existing services provided by AT&T and Verizon, which are pay-for-view services streaming national content. With ATSC Mobile DTV, you'd be able to watch local newscasts as well as network TV that is broadcast in your area.
The signal is carried alongside regular digital TV broadcasts using Vestigial Sideband modulation and the IP transport system. ATSC Mobile DTV can send H.264 video and High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding Version 2 (HE AAC v2) audio and support interactive and subscription-based TV.
I want my Mobile DTV! Here's hoping that the next generation of iPhones, iPod touches, and future iTablets can receive ATSC Mobile DTV.