Tuesday, January 09, 2007

CES Mobile TV Highlights - Part 1

Yes, it's that time of year again, when 140,000 people gather in Las Vegas to see the latest consumer electronic products and services. The major announcement of the first day was the official launch of the MediaFLO Mobile TV service by Verizon in the USA. The printed edition of USA Today which I got at the airport on my way to CES featured this item on the front page. The service will go live at the end of March, with CBS, NBC, Fox, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Verizon will offer phones from Samsung and LG to support the service.

I saw the LG 9400 MediaFLO phone at LG's booth today, and TV reception quality is very good. You can see pictures of the phone at gearlog. LG also had a DVB-H phone at their booth, but it wasn't receiving any TV signals...

Modeo, which plans to launch a competing mobile TV service in the USA using DVB-H technology, announced its "commercial quality mobile TV beta service", which will start in the first quarter of 2007 in New York. Modeo's service will feature TV content from FOX and The Discovery Channel, and radio content from Music Choice. The choice of handsets, however, will be limited to a single handset designed by HTC.

As if we didn't have enough mobile broadcast TV standards, Samsung announced its own mobile TV technology which is being trialed this week at CES. The technology, called Advanced-VSB (or A-VSB for short), is an enhancement of the existing VSB digital television standard used by ATSC, and enables broadcasters to transmit a mobile digital TV signal on the same frequency as they use for standard television broadcasting. And another emerging bearer for mobile TV is WiMax: MobiTV, NDS and RunCom are demonstrating mobile TV over WiMax at the show.

More on Mobile TV at CES tomorrow...

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