Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: June 22, 2010

WOSU and other stations in the Columbus market will soon be involved in a rollout of mobile digital television — that’s where you can watch over the air programming on your enabled smart phone without surfing the Internet. WOSU will use a portion of its digital broadcast signal to link our programming to your mobile device. The pilot tests in Washington are showing some positive results according to TV NewsCheck’s report:

Among the findings:

* Viewers say they are excited about the potential of mobile DTV. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being “not at all excited” and 10 being “extremely excited”), initial survey participants rate mobile DTV as 7.1.
* Most viewing is happening “on the go.” Nearly two-thirds of viewing (63%) is being done “on the go,” compared with 44% happening at work or at school, and one-third (33%) of viewers say they tune in from home.
* Viewers are tuning in multiple times a day. Just under half of viewers say they watch one or two times a day. Just under 30% of viewers say they watch three or more times a day.

The trial involves about 150 consumers and nine TV stations in DC broadcasting 23 channels with dozens of free programs on specially-equipped mobile DTV receiving devices. Public television programming is among the channels provided. The service also includes interactive advertising, electronic program guides, closed captioning and emergency alerts…it also bypasses the slow Internet and goes straight to your mobile device.

The trial started in May with consumers equipped with a specially-modified Samsung Moment phone. This week, prototypes of the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbooks with built-in mobile DTV receivers will be deployed. Mobile DTV-equipped DVD players from LG Electronics and Tivizen receivers from Valups are next up. We’ll keep you posted.