Mobile TV

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DMB in Korea

Mobile TV is television service delivered to subscribers via mobile telecommunications networks, such as the mobile phone carriers. This is one of the feature provided by 3G phones. In 2005, South Korea became the first country in the world to have mobile TV when it started satellite DMB (S-DMB) and terrestrial DMB (T-DMB) service on May 1 and December 1, respectively. Today, South Korea and Japan are at the forefront of this developing sector[1].Mobile TV services have been launched by the operator CSL in Hong Kong in March 2006 on the 3G network. [2] BT in the United Kingdom was the among the first companies outside South Korea to launch Mobile TV in September 2006, although the service was abandoned less than a year later[3]. The same happened to "MFD Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland", who launched their DMB-based service June 2006 in Germany, and stopped it in April 2008[4]. Also in June 2006, mobile operator 3 in Italy (part of Hutchison Whampoa) launched their mobile TV service, but opposed to their counterpart in Germany this was based on DVB-H[5]. Sprint started offering the service in February 2006 and was the first US carrier to offer the service. In the US Verizon Wireless and more recently AT&T are offering the service.


[edit] Overview

Mobile TV is a service which allows cell phone owners to watch television on their phones from a service provider. Television data can be obtained either through an existing cellular network or a propriety network.

In South Korea, mobile TV is largely divided into satellite DMB (S-DMB) and terrestrial DMB (T-DMB). Although S-DMB initially had more content, T-DMB has gained much wider popularity because it is free and included as a feature in most mobile handsets sold in the country today.

[edit] Challenges

  • Device Manufacturer’s challenges

1. Power Consumption: Battery technology for mobile portable devices may be stuck in a race condition. Improved battery life can be used up by the upgraded mobile content and enhanced functions. However, dashtop mobile devices can also be powered by a 12-volt vehicle battery, however vehicle batteries are not a sustainable source of power for mobile devices.

2. Memory: To support the high buffer requirements of mobile TV. Current memory capabilities available will not be suited for long hours of mobile TV viewing. Furthermore, potential future applications like peer to peer video sharing in mobile phones and consumer broadcasting would definitely add to the increasing memory requirements. The existing P2P algorithms won't be enough for mobile devices, necessiating the advent of 'mobile P2P' algorithms. There is one start-up technology that claims patentability on its mobile P2P, but has not drawn attention from 'device manufacturers' yet.

3. User Interface Design: A large number of mobile phones do not support mobile TV; users have to purchase new handsets with improved LCD display and user interface that support mobile TV. This new design has to appeal to the end-users and increase the clarity of images without making the handset very bulky. The wider LCD touchscreens will be preferred by end-users and iPhone's popularity in the United States is part of the compelling evidence.

4. Processing Power: Device manufacturers should improve the processing power significantly to support a MIPS intensive application like mobile TV.

  • Content Provider’s challenges

The mobile TV industry opens up a new market for the content specifically tailored for mobile TVs. These could include making new mobisodes –mobile episodes of popular shows which are relatively shorter in length (3 to 5 minutes), modifying the content to suit mobile TV.

[edit] Mobile TV standards

  • ATSC-M/H
  • CMMB (China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting) - China
  • DAB-IP (Digital Audio Broadcast) - UK
  • T-DMB (Terrestrial Digital Mulitmedia Broadcast) - South Korea, Germany
    • S-DMB (Satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcast) - South Korea, Japan
  • DVB-H
  • HSPA
  • ISDB-T (Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting) - Japan and Brazil
    • 1seg (One Segment) - Mobile TV system on ISDB-T
  • MediaFLO - launched in US, trialled in UK and Germany

European Union adopted DVB-H/DVB-SH over other versions of the technology in 2008.

[edit] References

  1. ^ via Yahoo! Finance: Mobile TV Spreading in Europe and to the U.S., May 6, 2008
  2. ^ 3G UK: The service is based on the Golden Dynamic Enterprises Ltd.'s "VOIR Portal" and follows the 3GPP standard 3G-324 M. The same service is also deployed to Philippines in 2007.
  3. ^ ZDnet: BT ditches mobile TV service, 26 July 2007
  4. ^ Broadband TV news: MFD hands back German T-DMB licence, May 1, 2008
  5. ^ The Register: DVB-H rockets ahead in Italy, 28 July 2006

Sources: BBC

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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