[opendtv] Mobile TV gets on a roll

  • From: Monty Solomon <monty@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: undisclosed-recipient: ;
  • Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 01:28:47 -0500

Mobile TV gets on a roll
By Greg Sandoval
Story last modified Fri Jan 27 04:00:00 PST 2006

After a lackluster start, mobile TV is generating buzz again. 
Electronics makers, wireless operators and cell phone technology 
firms are betting big money that consumers on the go will soon clamor 
for TVs that they can tote in purses and pockets.

"The one message that came out loud and clear from our market 
research was that people who like TV like the idea of mobile TV," 
said Jeffrey Lorbeck, senior vice president at MediaFlow, the 
Qualcomm subsidiary that is deploying the company's high-speed 
wireless network in the U.S.

But the gulf between the idea and the reality of mobile TV--at least 
at this point in its development--still presents a few challenges to 
the consumer. Before TV fans can watch live NBA games or CNN 
broadcasts on their cell phones, they have to wade through a dizzying 
number of new video-enabled gadgets as well as special services and 
technologies, some with impenetrable acronyms like EV-DO and DVB-H.

Adding to the confusion are emerging competitive battles over signal 
transmission standards. Just this week, a group of companies that 
includes Intel, Nokia and Texas Instruments announced that they were 
joining forces to encourage open standards for TV broadcasts to 
mobile devices. The consortium, called the Mobile DTV Alliance, is 
promoting DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting--Handheld), a technology 
that bypasses mobile networks and broadcasts directly to millions of 
handsets simultaneously.

Transmission networks in development include broadcast systems being 
built by MediaFlo, a subsidiary of Qualcomm that uses a technology 
called FLO, and Modeo, a DVB-H proponent owned by Crown Castle 
International. These systems deliver TV programming on networks that 
overlay existing 3G wireless networks. Another TV transmission 
technology, TDtv, developed by IPWireless, uses existing 3G networks 
to "multicast" TV signals to subscribers.

Ultimately, of course, it will be up to the wireless providers to 
decide which technology is most cost-effective for them. But pressure 
also is mounting to make things more reliable and user-friendly for 
prospective customers. Research firm In-Stat estimates that 1.1 
million people purchased mobile video content last year in the U.S. 
but expects that number to rise to 30 million in 2010.



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