Meanwhile, RCA Brings Actual Television to Tablets Free of Charge (No WiFi Needed)

Yesterday, Google announced that YouTube was coming to your real tube in a big new way, by way of your Android device and WiFi. Today, RCA has reported something similar, but the opposite -- sort of -- perhaps looking to get in on today's lucrative tablet market. Interestingly, in this case, the company has announced an Android tablet that will be capable of wirelessly receiving television channels, for free -- but not via WiFi internet access. The device will tap the airwaves in much the same way the 'bunny ears' of your parents' old cable-less TV set did back in the '50s, but allow you to do so while traveling, up to 100 miles per hour.

RCA has actually launched a site specifically dedicated to their Mobile Digital TV push, with thanks to AllThingsD for the feed. The flagship product looks to be a 7 inch 800×480-display tablet, called simply enough the 7" Mobile DTV. What RCA is calling the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard is at the heart of this technology, about which RCA itself has this to say:

ATSC Mobile DTV Standard is a standard in the United States for mobile digital TV that allows TV broadcasts to be received by mobile devices. Its a new digital way of broadcasting to reach more customers that are/will be using their portable mobile DTV devices to enjoy DTV when and where they want. Viewers can see videos, movies, sporting events, entertainment programs, traffic info, local news, weather updates etc. Finally, a true mobility will be offered to millions of consumers with the new era of Mobile DTV.

The company also includes a link for finding the Mobile DTV channel local to you (Mobile DTV Station Guide) -- and the tablet itself is also for sale at $160. According to AllThingsD, the device uses the Dyle TV mobile tuning service/interface, "which provides access to 130 TV stations across the U.S.," among other things:

The RCA Mobile TV tablet also has twin speakers, dual cameras, eight gigabytes of memory and an HDMI port. RCA estimates battery life at up to four hours in mobile TV mode or up to 10 hours when just browsing the Web... [Though,] while it displays program information and closed captioning, it does not offer HD content or DVR options.


[via AllThingsD]

Your Comment



January 4, 2013 at 5:37PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

kunle Emmanuel-...

Lol! I am sorry but I can only laugh. TV is clawing at the cliff. It may be an okay idea but there is no way people are going to carry those bulky things around. 4-5 stations on average? And of what?

January 4, 2013 at 9:04PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


if im in a car, bus or train on a 10 hour trip, would you even be able to hold a signal for more than 30 min before it started snowing and you had to find something new to watch?

January 4, 2013 at 9:21PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


@ Joshua and Kevin, I am with you guys , TV is on the way out and its gonna die in the next 15 years.

Its a ridiculous idea .

January 5, 2013 at 2:06AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


so, its a portable tv that looks like a tablet, uhum, yeah, right, make it white, put an apple sticker on it, and it will surely sell

January 5, 2013 at 5:12AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I'm sure it would. But the price would have to be really high !

January 5, 2013 at 7:07AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


This seems interesting, but I'm really skeptical about this "free TV" thing. Either there has been a deal struck between RCA and some TV channels or particular cable providers all over the country or there is going to be some serious blowback from the FCC, etc.

Ultimately, YouTube is still probably the king of the mobile market. If I absolutely need to watch programming of some kind, I'll A) stick to my phone and B) watch YouTube.

January 5, 2013 at 8:01AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


There has always been free OTA or Over the Air broadcasts. That didn't change with digital or HD, in fact, with better technology, we now have access to more OTA channels than ever before.

January 5, 2013 at 8:46AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Joe Marine
Camera Department

She says CES 2011? Are we going back in time? Got anything recent?

January 10, 2013 at 1:13PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


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June 2, 2014 at 12:54AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM