Thursday, March 29, 2007

VCast MediaFLO Service Review

USA Today has published a review of Verizon's VCast Mobile TV service, which is based on Qualcomm's MediaFLO technology. The reviewer was quite satisifed by the overall quality and content, but notes some issues with the reception in Orlando and the external antenna. Similar to my experience from 3GSM, the reviewer notes an excellent channel switching time of only 2 seconds, compared to 8 seconds with the Modeo DVB-H service which he tested in New York.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mobile TV Services and Trials Update

Below are some of the recent announcements regarding mobile TV trials and commercial services.

Commercial Services:
  • Verizon launched its VCast Mobile TV service, based on Qualcomm's MediaFLO technology, in 20 US states. The service includes 8 TV channels, and costs $15 a month. Also see the analysis from infoSync.
  • AT&T, the largest US wireless operator, has announced that it will also use Qualcomm's MediaFLO technology in the mobile TV service it plans to launch during the fourth quarter of this year.
  • EchoStar has invested $40M in TU Media, the Korean company which runs the country's S-DMB service. This will make EchoStar the second largest shareholder in the company, after mobile operator SK Telecom.


  • Modeo launched a "beta" version of the their DVB-H service in New York City. The service features 5 TV channels, and has some issues with picture quality and channel switching time - see the impressions by Gizmodo. According to the EE Times, The FCC gave Modeo permission to increase their power by a factor of 10 in urban areas and 20 in rural areas, which might help to solve some of these issues.
  • O2 and Arqiva have launched a trial of DVB-H in Ireland, with 350 users and 13 TV channels. The trial will continue until August.
  • Qualcomm, China Network Systems (CNS) and Taiwan Television Enterprises (TTE) will launch a trial of MediaFLO technology in Taiwan. The trial will feature 4 TV channels from CNS and 3 from TTE.
  • Mobilkom Austria and Hutchinson 3G will launch a DVB-H trial in Austria during April. The trial will include 400 users, and will be funded by the Austria Regulation Authority RTR.