THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Year In Signals (2012)

2012 was the first year of our new and improved blog. It’s incredibly hard to believe that we’re coming up on 2022 and this blog is stronger than ever. We’ve changed platforms, changed hosting, and refocused several times. Still, with over 7,500 of the best tutorials on the web, we’ve created something that will last Back then we were just getting our feet wet but since then, it’s been nothing but up!

That isn’t to say I haven’t made a few mistakes along the way. Take a look at this excerpt from 2012: The Year In Signals, a post I made at the end of that year. I do okay until you get to the bottom…

MDTV – The Revolution’s late but it’s finally here

It took years but we finally saw a mainstream MDTV product with the eyeTV Mobile. There’s still a demand for live TV while out and about, and using your data plan isn’t the way to go. Now there’s a product that turns your iPhone or iPad into a TV, even in a moving car.

MD what?

MDTV was a failed attempt at bringing live, broadcast TV to smartphones. I was pretty excited about the technology back then and it’s completely gone now, thanks mostly to healthy data plans and fast download speeds. No one wants to just watch TV, they want the whole internet experience and in 2022, you can get it.

It’s not that mobile TV was a bad idea. I think more than anything, the world wasn’t ready for it. Watching live TV on your phone back then meant a very small screen, and adding a module with an antenna to your phone. That was the best you could hope for in a world where 1 megabit per second was still considered pretty fast.

As MDTV died a well-deserved death, the real mobile TV was just beginning to rise. Faster speeds and bigger screens meant real live streaming video was just around the corner. Providers like DIRECTV Stream, Sling, and others rose up to offer true internet-delivered mobile TV. As the decade turned, we started to see more unlimited plans that made this an even more attractive option.

The obligatory word about ATSC 3.0

If the next-generation TV standard, known as ATSC 3.0 and NextGenTV, ever launches, it will do a lot to improve the mobile TV experience. Today’s over-the-air signals don’t work if you’re going over about 15mph. This design flaw was put in on purpose. Back in the 1990s, engineers could create digital signals that worked well in motion, or worked really really well while standing still. They chose the second option. However, the technology to make broadcast TV that works while in motion is out there now. Europeans do it all the time. If we get the next generation of TV technology in place, you’ll be able to take a portable TV with you and use it in the car (as a passenger) or in an RV.

But will that happen? It’s hard to know. It probably won’t happen in 2022

Looking forward

As we look forward to 2022, no doubt we’ll see even more growth in mobile technologies, and without a doubt at least one of the predictions I made this week will look like complete rubbish. You’ll just have to wait and see!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.