3GSM Wrap-Up: Mobile TV

Lots of noise about mobile TV here, and it covers the analog broadcast type, the IP unicast, and terrestrial and satellite digital broadcasts. The many different ways to skin this cat either represents that it’s an easy problem that can be solved many ways, or a tough problem that hasn’t been solved yet. I tend to go with the latter. Although, for me, the solution is going to come as one breakthrough: storage. When mobile phones can store hours of personalized content, using latent network resources in late night hours, then we will see PVR-like functionality that may work. That’s why it was interesting to see Samsung’s SCH-V500 that can store four hours of MPEG4 recording, and their SCH-B100 with up to two hours of satellite DMB recording. Then there’s the SCH-V5400 has a 1.5GB hard drive, video output, and an FM transmitter. These handsets, of course, are avaialble only in Korea for now. Microsoft, for their part, were demonstrating an integration of the smartphone with a Win XP Media Edition wherein the PVR content menu can be seen from the mobile device, and users can access the multimedia content on their PC from their phone. This integration of PVR and phone is promising, but this model still requires unicast use of the 3G network, which is expensive to the customer, and in terms of network capacity. I also notices the resolution of phone screens keeps creeping up, with some phenomenal displays, which delivered near 400 lines of resolution, despite their small sizes. The clarity is phenomenal.

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