Trend: TV stations broadcast to portable devices - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Trend: TV stations broadcast to portable devices

(NBC) - Local TV stations are jumping on board with the latest trend in technology: Broadcasting television stations to your phone, tablet or laptop.

"Mobile live TV is something that's been popular in other parts of the world, frankly, for years," CNET.com's Molly Wood said.

Japan's variation of Mobile DTV was put to use for emergency information during the earthquakes and tsunami earlier this year.

"It's a signal that, when your cell phones go down, in a disaster you're still going to be able to get a signal because it's over the air, not over the cell phone tower," Broadcasting and Cable Magazine's Melissa Grego said.

Ninety-six TV stations across the U.S. are putting out a Mobile DTV signal, generally offering the same programming viewers can watch at home.

In order to receive the channels you need one of the specially equipped smartphones or a special adapter for your laptop or tablet.

"It's like rabbit ears in the form of a little thing you plug into your computer," Grego said.

As the number of stations offering mobile DTV multiplies the number of devices to receive it will as well.

"We'll probably start to see new phones, new laptops, new DVD players with this tuner built in," Wood predicts.

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