Baltimore news station
recently signed an agreement with New Jersey's Dyle mobile TV
to bring live broadcast programming to viewers who want to watch news and other programs on their cell phones. The move will help the local NBC affiliate expand its reach and stay ahead of the competition with new technologies.
Roger Keating, senior vice president of digital media for WBAL parent Hearst Television Inc., says the technology will be available by the end of this year.
Dyle mobile TV operates through a receiver accessory, sold for $84.98 on Amazon.com and other outlets. The accessory, about the size of a matchbox, has an antennae. It plugs into a smart phone or tablet, turning it into a television. Dyle technology is available now for iPhones and will be ready for Android devices in a few months.
“The worst case scenario is that it wouldn't begin until the end of this year,” Keating says. The timeframe depends on the engineering work, like upgrading WBAL's transmission tower, that is needed to implement mobile TV.
Dan Joerres, president and general manager of WBAL-TV, calls Dyle mobile TV the "next step" in television technology. "The intent is to build another product for our consumers," he says.
"We are trying to build a network in a market. Maybe there will be other TV networks in Baltimore that will have [mobile TV] in the future."
Indeed at least one already has. Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc. said earlier this month that it is doing so in 10 of its stations, including WBFF Fox 45, in the next six months.
Mobile Content Ventures, a partnership of 12 major broadcast companies, operates Dyle mobile TV. Keating says Hearst TV already transmits the Dyle service to three of its stations, in Cincinnati, Greenville, S.C.; and Orlando, Fla.
Sources: Roger Keating, Hearst TV; Dan Joerres, WBAL-TV
Writer: Barbara Pash