Review: MobileTV

Watching broadcast TV on your iPhone

3 min read
Review: MobileTV
Photo: TAKA

08RMobileTVPhoto: TAKA

Even as more and more viewers shift to getting television programs delivered via fixed and mobile Internet connections, broadcast television still has its place. Over-the-air transmissions are more resilient than a video stream. There’s no network congestion or overwhelmed ­servers during a live event, for example, and when disasters rob cell towers or home routers of power, television stations can still reach affected areas. So it’s perhaps a little bit surprising that the options for watching broadcast TV on mobile devices have been thin on the ground, which makes gadgets like Escort’s MobileTV for iOS devices very welcome.

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How the FCC Settles Radio-Spectrum Turf Wars

Remember the 5G-airport controversy? Here’s how such disputes play out

11 min read
This photo shows a man in the basket of a cherry picker working on an antenna as an airliner passes overhead.

The airline and cellular-phone industries have been at loggerheads over the possibility that 5G transmissions from antennas such as this one, located at Los Angeles International Airport, could interfere with the radar altimeters used in aircraft.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images
Blue

You’ve no doubt seen the scary headlines: Will 5G Cause Planes to Crash? They appeared late last year, after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration warned that new 5G services from AT&T and Verizon might interfere with the radar altimeters that airplane pilots rely on to land safely. Not true, said AT&T and Verizon, with the backing of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which had authorized 5G. The altimeters are safe, they maintained. Air travelers didn’t know what to believe.

Another recent FCC decision had also created a controversy about public safety: okaying Wi-Fi devices in a 6-gigahertz frequency band long used by point-to-point microwave systems to carry safety-critical data. The microwave operators predicted that the Wi-Fi devices would disrupt their systems; the Wi-Fi interests insisted they would not. (As an attorney, I represented a microwave-industry group in the ensuing legal dispute.)

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