Dozens of players within the U.S. broadcast industry are behind two parallel efforts to make iPhones or iPads double as conventional television sets. The plan is to upgrade broadcasting infrastructure to beam out mobile-ready signals.
A consortium called Dyle TV—representing 18 broadcast groups, including Gannet, Hearst, Fox, Univision, ABC, NBC, and CBS—is farthest along in upgrading broadcast networks; it has completed upgrades on 90 TV stations, representing portions of markets covering 55 percent of the U.S. population. Dyle TV is expected to launch sometime later this year with a dongle that can be affixed to the accessory port of iPhones or iPads.
A second joint venture, Mobile500, represents much of the rest of the TV industry, with 437 stations, only 16 of whom have upgraded their networks. This group plans to launch a study October 1 of how people use the service—handing out dongles to 1,500 consumers in Seattle and Minneapolis, where several stations have upgraded.