Wednesday, January 10, 2007

CES Mobile TV Highlights - Part 2

I got a closer look at the LG VX9400 today at the MediaFLO booth. The video quality was very good, with no frame drops, and a surprising channel switching time of less than 2 seconds. The phone itself has a nice design, and is not bulky as you might expect from a phone that incorporates an additional receiver. The only issue is the external retractable antenna, which resembles the cellular phones we had 10 years ago. It seems fragile and looks completely out of place - hopefully newer models will feature an internal antenna.

I also saw the Samsung SCH-U620 MediaFLO phone at the Samsung booth. At first, it seemed that quality is much worse - frequent frame drops, and a channel switching time of 4-6 seconds. But, when I moved the handset a few meters to another location, the reception improved significantly, and I witnesses similar reception quality to the LG phone. The Samsung handset is also very nicely designed, althugh the screen doesn't rotate 90 degrees as with the LG model, and there is still the issue of the external retractable antenna.

The Modeo DVB-H phone, designed by HTC, was also demonstrated at the show, both at the Microtune stand in the IBM booth (local playback only), and at the HTC stand in the Microsoft booth (live TV reception). Quality was lower than the MediaFLO service, with frequent frame drops and a channel switching time of 6-8 seconds.

The demo of TV over Wimax, mentioned in my previous post, was shown at the Intel and Samsung booths. The demo shows streaming television at 1 megabits per second, including an integrated TV channel guide. It turned out that the demo, which is implemented using a USB dongle receiver by Samsung, does not use standard WiMax but actually WiBro, the pre-standard version which is deployed in Korea.

IPTV, HD content download from the Internet, home media distribution and wireless HDMI were also major topics at this year's show, but not for this blog...

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