LG's Mobile DTV tech used in Tweet-TV and emergency alert systems

Among other things, LG is broadening the capabilities of Mobile DTV here at CES, with a social media aspect in particular striking us as particularly helpful / wacky. Tweet-TV, as it's called, brings together public comments about specific broadcasts and retransmits them for all viewers to see. We're told that viewers engaged with Tweet-TV would be able to interact with program content and submit their comments on programs. The broadcaster consolidates the real-time comments and transmits those short messages with the video and audio, enabling a transparent conversational overlay; in essence, the Mobile DTV application enables viewers to carry on an open discussion of program content or reply to questions that could be part of an "audience quiz." The program's also being used to display pertinent information on digital signage, not to mention an M-EAS project that'll use Mobile DTV to get emergency alerts to those with compatible equipment. Head on past the break for the rest of the details -- sadly, there's no real information on how soon Mobile DTV will be spreading to your neck of the woods.

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LG Broadens Capabilities of Mobile DTV for Viewers, Broadcasters
with Social Media, Digital Signage, Emergency Alert Applications

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 2012 – Mobile digital television is evolving rapidly in 2012 beyond delivery of robust broadcast local TV signals to mobile and handheld devices.

At the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, the co-inventor of the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard, LG Electronics (booth #8204), is showing exciting new applications that make mobile DTV an educational and informational resource to viewers watching wherever they go, including on public transportation, at public events, and even on the move with a portable device connected to social networks.

The new applications for Mobile DTV – including a unique social media platform and instantaneously updated digital signage – are being demonstrated in the CES Mobile DTV TechZone (Central Hall #13546) here this week as more than 140,000 expected attendees get their first view of tomorrow's technological breakthroughs. LG mobile DTV technology also is at the heart of the mobile emergency alert system (M-EAS) being demonstrated publicly for the first time at CES as part of a landmark broadcast pilot project with PBS. (See separate news release.)

"While mobile DTV is just getting started as a compelling service for broadcasters, there are even more interesting applications made possible by mobile DTV's non-real-time capability," said Dr. Jong Kim, president of LG's U.S. R&D Lab, Zenith. "Data can be transmitted to receiving devices designed to display social networking updates, weather, news crawls, and even location-based advertising."

Kim said LG is working with Harris Corporation, through its Broadcast Communications business, on ways to help TV stations leverage the power of their broadcast spectrum while enhancing service to their communities by transmitting live broadcasts to more locations. "The ATSC Mobile DTV standard offers broadcasters remarkable flexibility to address the changing demands of consumers and advertisers. As broadcasters ramp up their national rollout of mobile DTV, LG is proud to pave the way with innovative new mobile DTV apps," he said.

Mobile DTV Keeps Bus Passengers Informed
LG's CES mobile DTV digital signage demonstration is made possible through a cooperative effort with Harris, which has developed the necessary MDTV transmission equipment that already powers an onboard mobile DTV digital signage system on city buses in Raleigh, N.C. using LG digital signage displays.

Mobile DTV is an ideal method of reaching groups of people – whether they're in transit buses, on light rail, or even in a limousine or taxicab. At CES, CBS affiliate KLAS-TV is broadcasting live updates to show the flexibility of the standard and exemplify this new mobile DTV application.

"The CES demo with KLAS builds on our experience with DTV pioneer WRAL-TV for a mobile signage system inside Raleigh's downtown circulator bus route. There, we're delivering live TV – typically news content or the station's main program content – to a center window on the display. Surrounding that transmission is important information, such as a weather forecast and radar, news headlines, community event listings and advertising," said Jay Adrick, vice president of broadcast technology for Harris Broadcast Communications.

Information outside the main signal is delivered by KLAS utilizing the ATSC Non-Real-Time candidate standard for data transmission. As seen on the LG digital signage display, weather radar information is typically updated every three minutes. The "news crawl" gets updated every five minutes, and the temperature can change every 10 minutes. Advertising is sent directly to the small Harris® InfoCaster™ Player that is attached to each display, with a playback schedule that is based on the time of day.

"We are also working on geolocation-based advertising that could be triggered by the proximity to a certain spot, such as a restaurant. There's also audio delivered as part of the system, which is automatically muted by driver announcements," said Adrick.

Outdoor venues, such as train stops for light rail, are other potential locations for MDTV digital signage technology. A number of broadcasters have expressed interest in the technology, and a new generation of the Harris product is now in field trials.

Tweet-TV Broadcasts Shared Experiences
Another new mobile DTV application shown by LG this week is "Tweet-TV," which brings together public comments about specific broadcasts and retransmits them for all viewers to see.

Viewers engaged with Tweet-TV would be able to interact with program content and submit their comments on programs. The broadcaster consolidates the real-time comments and transmits those short messages with the video and audio, enabling a transparent conversational overlay. The Mobile DTV application enables viewers to carry on an open discussion of program content or reply to questions that could be part of an audience quiz.

In collaboration with Roundbox, LG is showing how the new "Tweet-TV" mobile DTV application that will allow viewer "tweets" to be displayed interactively on a mobile DTV receiver while a program is airing. A Harris MDTV transmitter would deliver viewer tweets, received as data files and then displayed on a prototype LG Android smartphone.

For more information and product images, please visit LG's online press kit at



Progress on Pilot Project Highlighted at 2012 International CES;
Vegas PBS Delivers Video, Maps, Audio, Text to Mobile DTV Devices

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2012 – In the first public demonstration of the groundbreaking Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS) Pilot Project, PBS and LG Electronics today showed how the new system, based on the ATSC Mobile Digital TV Standard, will benefit the public by giving them instantaneous, reliable, rich media alerts anywhere, anytime.

Highlighted in the Mobile Digital TV Tech Zone Pavilion at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (booth 13547, LVCC Central Hall) are key PBS partners on the pilot project: LG Electronics and its Zenith subsidiary, which have developed M-EAS receivers and provided funding for the project; and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provided a matching grant to PBS. Harris Broadcast and Roundbox are providing key components and technology.

At CES here this week, Vegas PBS – one of four PBS stations participating in the M-EAS Pilot Project – is transmitting via mobile DTV signals with rich media emergency alert content for simulated national and local emergency scenarios, including a suspicious package threat, an approaching tornado, an AMBER Alert and impending tsunami.

The terrestrial broadcast M-EAS project will evaluate the system's capabilities for delivering multimedia alerts (utilizing video, audio, text, and graphics) to mobile DTV-equipped cellphones, tablets, laptops, netbooks, and in-car navigation systems in order to avoid the potential roadblocks of chronic congestion of cellular systems during emergencies. The goals of the year-long pilot are to develop the basic capability and to prove the viability of M-EAS, to build on existing standards with the cooperation of three public TV stations, and to create a template for deployment by any TV station – public or commercial. The first commercial broadcasters have already joined the project.

PBS Chief Technology Officer John McCoskey said the CES demonstration is a key milestone in the M-EAS project, for which the primary goal is to develop a system that can be easily replicated by both public and commercial broadcasters throughout the country to give access to vital emergency information to millions of viewers using mobile DTV receivers. "Whether utilized in times of national emergency, to warn of a local fast-approaching storm, or to advise the public of missing children, we believe that the new ATSC Mobile DTV system can be harnessed to do far more than just the delivery of linear TV channels," he said.

The public television broadcasters in Nevada, Massachusetts and Alabama are serving as test markets for the new M-EAS being developed now by PBS and LG. By using terrestrial "over the air" Mobile DTV broadcasting, rather than cellular network connectivity, M-EAS is expected to meet critical needs for emergency alerts.

"At CES, we're showing how this technology can help usher in a new era of mobile alerting systems on LG prototype smart phones. We think this new system will be extremely valuable to federal, state and local emergency management agencies and the public they serve, while extending the community service role of public and commercial broadcasters alike," said Dr. Jong Kim, president of Zenith R&D Lab, the U.S. research and development subsidiary of LG Electronics.

"Public media has long been a vital source for listeners and viewers to obtain accurate and critical information about their communities," said Mark Erstling, senior vice president, system development and media strategy at CPB. "We are proud to support PBS, local public media stations and LG in the development of new Mobile EAS technology. It leverages the speed and portability of new mobile technologies to help both public and commercial broadcasting stations provide essential local information in times of emergency."

M-EAS using mobile DTV would significantly enhance current capabilities for sending emergency alerts, because it does not have bandwidth bottlenecks that might overload current or planned cellular systems with millions of devices attempting to receive the alerts simultaneously. Utilizing terrestrial "over-the-air" broadcast TV transmissions, rather than relying on cell phone systems, the M-EAS requires no additional spectrum and will be an additional use of existing TV transmitters and towers. Standard equipment used to upgrade stations for Mobile DTV transmission will be utilized.

Building on its long history of innovating broadcasting technology, public television is leading the way in the development and testing of the M-EAS pilot project. CPB provided funding to PBS for this new communications platform. Public television broadcasters Vegas PBS (KLVX), WGBH (Boston), and Alabama Public Television stations WBIQ (Birmingham) and WAIQ (Montgomery) are providing rich media content and serving as test markets for the project. Seattle commercial station KOMO-TV (Fisher Communications) developed the compelling tsunami video alert simulation. (No CPB funding has gone to Fisher or KOMO-TV).

Beyond life-saving emergency broadcasts and simple text alerts, the next-generation emergency alert system has far-reaching public safety benefits – both for first responders who need to access critical information, and for federal and state agencies to instantly reach millions of Americans with a single broadcast.

"With the Mobile EAS service, terrestrial broadcasters will be able to send everything from AMBER alert photos to detailed maps with evacuation routes, video clips, and extensive information that viewers anywhere/anytime will find invaluable in a disaster. M-EAS goes way beyond a short text message on a cell phone network that may become congested in an emergency. It's harnessing the power of 'one-to-many' transmissions from a TV broadcaster to the viewing audience," said PBS's McCoskey.

For more information and product images, please visit LG's online press kit at