CES Recap 3: Verizon is going to be a broadcaster?

Verizon booth at CESIn his Broadcast Engineering Blog, Phil Kurz writes about a part of CES that I missed, but which might be important. The event was one of the keynotes, which I avoid at CES because they rarely include anything new and substantial. Kurz caught something in Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam’s afternoon keynote on CES’s opening day. (You can watch that keynote here.)

In his keynote, McAdam unveiled LTE Broadcast, a new way to use wireless phone spectrum to deliver video to viewers. As McAdam explained, “We are also developing a service to broadcast live video over LTE. Now to do that today, we have to dedicate a separate channel to each individual user, which uses up capacity pretty fast as you can imagine. With LTE Broadcast, we’ll be able to stream to everybody over the same channel at the same time.”

Kurz offers the proper perspective to this announcement: “What a revolutionary concept! Transmit, excuse me, that’s stream, ‘to everybody over the same channel at the same time.’ Where have I heard of that before? Oh, that’s right. There’s already nearly 1800 full-power commercial and public television stations that are streaming, excuse me, that’s transmitting, digital video and audio content on their own ‘same channel at the same time’ to everybody.”

There’s a lot more to Kurz’s blog post about the silliness of taking broadcast TV spectrum away and handing it to broadcast video. You really should go read it!