Thursday, November 23, 2006

Russian Commercial DVB-H Service expected in 2008

According to a source quoted by Cellular News, Sistema Mass Media subsidiary Digital Television Broadcasting is acquiring mobile TV frequencies in 16 Russian cities, and plans to launch a commercial service in 2008, in time for the Beijing Olympic Games. It is not clear accoridng to the report whether this will be a DVB-H or T-DMB service, but the service will be launched in collaboration with SK Mobile of Korea T-Systems from Germany. The service will initially include eight channels, and will cost between $5 to $15 a month. By 2010, the company plans to have over 500,000 subscribers.

Samsung SGH-P930: New DVB-H Handset for the Italian Market

Cellular News reports that Samsung has released a new mobile TV handset named SGH-P930, which will be used in the DVB-H service offered by Telecom Italia and Mediaset. The phone includes HSDPA cellular connectivity, a 2.3 inch LCD display with a resolution of 240x320 pixels, and it supports Picture in Picture (PIP) for viewing two mobile TV channels simultaneously.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Verizon and Sprint MediaFLO Services Powered by Samsung Handsets

Engadget has spotted two Samsung handsets which will be used in commercial MediaFLO mobile TV services in the US. The Samsung U620 will be used for Verizon's VCAST mobile TV service, while the Samsung M250 is already powering Sprint's trial of the competing VUE mobile TV service in Kansas City and Las Vegas.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Study: Virgin DAB-IP Mobile TV Beats Vodafone 3G TV service

A new study published by Strategy Analytics found that users preferred Virgin's Mobile TV service based on DAB-IP technology, to Vodafone's cellular TV service. The study found a large preference to DAB-IP in perceived network performance and usability, but only a slight advantage in audiovisual quality and content. In the overall rating, Virgin's service received 70 points, while the Vodafone service was awarded 50 points.

Another study by Startegy Analytics found that the "Tua" DVB-H mobile TV service by 3 Italy was the easiest to buy and the best to use, beating TIM Italy's DVB-H service and Vodafone's UMTS mobile TV service.

SlingMedia Available on 3 UK Phones

SlingMedia, which developed the Slingbox device for broadcasting TV content from the user's home over the Internet, announced a partnership with 3 UK which will enable subscribers to watch their own TV channels from home on their cellular phones. The service will be available to customers who purchase both an X-series handset (either the Nokia N73 or the Sony Ericsson W950i) and a Slingbox. The service is unique in that it offers the first implementation of the SlingPlayer on a non-Windows platform, and is currently exclusive to 3 UK X-series customers.

The announcement did not mention specific pricing for the service, but the offical press release states that all X-services will be available for a fixed fee on top of the basic subscribtion fee, and that additional access fees will be charged the Sling service. It is interesting to note that owners of Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs can purchase the SlingPlayer application and enjoy the service for free (excluding 3G data charges), regardless of their wireless carrier. This could become a threat to paid cellular TV services, and to mobile broadcast TV services as well: If users can watch their own favorite TV channels from home on their cellular phones, why would they subscribe to a paid service that provides the same content?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

DVB-H Mobile TV Service Launched in Vietnam

The world's second commercial DVB-H service was launched last week in Vietnam by VTC Mobile. It is the world's first commercial mobile TV service to use the Nokia N92 handset, and offers viewers eight TV channels and four radio channels. VTC Mobile plans to charge a monthly fee of VND90,000 ($5.60) for the service, and an additional VND2,000 ($0.12) per day for content that is produced specifically for mobile phones.