Next Gen Mobile TV
One format war may be nearly over, but at this year’s CES, another is already in the works. Two new technologies are emerging to send local TV broadcast signals directly to mobile devices, from cell phones to ultra-mobile PC’s, allowing consumers to get quick hits of news, weather, sports as well as full TV programs with no “buffering” delays.
LG’s offering is called MPH (for Mobile Pedestrian Handheld) Dr. Woo Paik, LG’s Chief Technology Officer, says MPH uses existing broadcast infrastructure (the old TV towers almost all of which now send out a digital signal) to reach mobile devices. He says the new technology is affordable for consumers and fairly easy for broadcasters to install as well. He expects devices (like a cell phone) with embedded MPH chips to roll out in February of ‘09, and says LG is partnering with companies like Kenwood to develop a prototype MPH entertainment system for cars.
Samsung, meanwhile, is already demonstrating a number of mobile prototype products, including a phone, personal media player and notebook, which get their live TV via a technology called Advanced-VSB (A-VSB). Like MPH, A-VSB flows to mobile devices via the current over-the-air broadcast spectrum, not cellular signals. Samsung Electronics Vice President John Godfrey says the company is conducting field testing nationwide this year and expects a commercial launch of broadcast mobile TV with the A-VSB standard in ‘09.