CBS affiliate television station WRAL announced that it will launch mobile digital television (DTV) broadcasts to consumers this summer, making Raleigh, N.C. the first US market to commercially deploy mobile DTV.
The station is working with technology vendors LG Electronics and Harris to create a system that will use WRAL's digital spectrum to deliver both linear programming and interactive data to Capital Area Transit buses serving passengers throughout the capital city. Beginning this summer, CAT bus passengers will be able to watch WRAL's programming throughout the day. Passengers will also get city-oriented news briefs, real-time weather and other information on digital screens in the buses.
That WRAL would be the first station to declare its plans is not surprising, as the station has long prided itself on being a technology vanguard: it launched the first commercial HDTV broadcasts in the US in July 1996, and began doing field tests of mobile DTV last summer.
LG is providing mobile DTV receivers, flat screen monitors and project development and support, while Harris is supplying its complete "MPH platform for ATSC Mobile DTV", InfoCaster digital signage systems and development and support services. Microspace Communications Corporation will provide wireless networking and digital signage system management, while Digital Recorders, Inc will provide integration of the communications systems on the CAT buses.
The first mobile DTV-capable bus in Raleigh is expected to be fully operational this summer, and additional buses will be equipped and rolled out over the next twelve months. (info from Boradcasting & Cable)