Motive Television, a British television software and services company, has announced a joint venture on a project called Tablet TV with Granite Broadcasting Corporation in the U.S. The duo is unveiling plans for a terrestrial technology that would deliver live broadcast TV signals and video on-demand services directly to tablets and smartphones over the standard ATSC broadcast signal. The news comes at an interesting time, as we just learned Aereo, a service that offers similar functionality (albeit in a completely different way), has won another legal battle against big networks.
The technology could be demoed as early as a few months from now, and field testing will follow later in the year. Pending a successful test, a commercial launch could then take place at an unspecified time thereafter. Ongoing development will be taking place at Granite’s KOFY station in San Francisco, according to Motive.
Tablet TV would enable consumers to view local broadcast stations live, record content with DVR functionality, datacast delivery of on-demand video and offer integrated social media features specific to the service.
According to Peter Markham, Chairman of Granite Broadcasting Corporation, the idea is to disrupt the way Americans enjoy their favorite content from broadcast channels by making it easily accessible on the growing number of tablets and smartphones in the market.
“As a broadcaster, we see Tablet TV as a source of additional viewing convenience for the public and a win-win for the industry,” said Markham. “Granite is looking forward to being the test site and business partner with Motive on this exciting new technology.”
Motive has already patented the technology in Europe, and has also filed with the U.S. Patent Office. Development will focus on completing the Tablet TV process of taking something used mainly for broadcasting over-the-air (OTA) signals to ATSC-enabled TVs and applying it to mobile devices, so they can pull in the same signal. Though there were few specifics in the announcement, Motive has also patented software called “Anytime Anywhere” to enable time-shifting, on-demand viewing and the ability for broadcasters to offer additional movies and shows directly to these devices. Thus far, only the iPad and Android tablets were mentioned in the announcement- no word yet on whether this will include other platforms.
Leonard M. Fertig, CEO of Motive, said the pilot demo would be the focus because it will be shown to those in the broadcast industry first in order to prove Tablet TV’s technical and consumer appeal.
We’re curious as to how this technology will work. We can see how a dongle could enable the reception of TV broadcasts by the tablet, but how do you sort out the DVR function without robbing your already memory-starved tablet of much-needed storage space?