TV lovers rejoice! Thanks to the recently ratified ATSC mobile digital TV standard, you may soon find yourself watching live broadcast TV via a portable device. While all those NTSC compatible Sony Watchmen will still be trash, expect innumerable ATSC enabled portable personal media devices to flood the market in the very near future.
The full ATSC digital standard, which replaced the 60+ year old NTSC standard earlier this summer, offers many enhancements such as high definition viewing and surround sound. Problems associated with mobile viewing, especially when traveling at high speed, had prevented the mobile standard from being implemented. Now, systems and methods to solve these problems have been agreed upon and deployment of the technology will be rapid.
While subscription based mobile TV service, such as that offered by FLO TV, have existed for a while now, the real benefit to mobile ATSC TV its ubiquity and cost. Free network TV signals are broadcast all over the country via the ATSC standard and offer much of the most watched content, such as sports and sitcoms. Now I just hope that television’s new mobility won’t completely destroy American productivity.