The Open Mobile Video Coalition, backed by 36 commercial broadcast station groups and public broadcasters, issued guidelines for mobile digital TV devices that provide conditional access -- allowing for the delivery of subscription-based channels over Mobile DTV broadcast services -- as well as audience-measurement features.
OMVC now provides two Mobile DTV receiver profiles: a basic Mobile DTV receiver that can receive broadcast transmissions; and an advanced profile with conditional access and usage-tracking capabilities.
"While the two profiles are similar, we expect that many manufacturers will be more interested in the advanced capabilities," OMVC executive director Anne Schelle said in a statement.
The OMVC represents more than 900 TV stations across the country, including more than 500 commercial stations as well as the Association of Public Television Stations, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service, which represent an additional 360 public TV stations. The coalition also includes participation from equipment manufacturers through its Mobile DTV Forum.
On Wednesday, the OMVC issued two new documents as part of its Receiver Profile Guidelines, first published last fall: a conditional access (CAS) addendum, with minimum suggested requirements for receivers designed to support service protection; and an audience data gathering and reporting recommendations addendum, which describes the structure and content of the data elements of a "consumption data unit" (CDU) to be produced by each ATSC Mobile DTV device for the broadcaster-managed audience measurement system.
According to OMVC spokesman Dave Arland, conditional access is needed by broadcasters primarily for purposes of audience measurement, to report to advertisers anonymous data about what programs are most popular and when. "A secondary benefit would be for future subscription options for specific channels," he said.
In August 2011, OMVC announced that its conditional access system, the Mobile DTV Trust Authority managed by NeuStar, was operational.
Broadcasters are expecting to launch mobile DTV services starting this summer. Those include the Dyle mobile DTV service from Mobile Content Venture, a joint venture of 12 major broadcast groups; and services from members of the Mobile500 Alliance, comprising 50 companies with licenses to 437 TV stations.