January 28, 2005
Mobile Interactive TV?

There’s probably a lifetime of things to say about ordinary life in London in the few days since my last posting - but there’s not enough room here to go through them all - and for this I apologise. (Actually this is a lame excuse for not taking enough pictures to tell a story around recently!)

But there are some things that possibly verge on being so remarkable that are simply worth capturing and sharing at this particularly geeky stage of development. And one of them is “Mobile Interactive TV”.

Yesterday - one of my friends wheeled in a couple of hi-tech “boxes” and rigged them up to a standard set-top TV aerial/antenna like the kind you get in Argos or Dixons. He twiddled around with a few of the knobs, buttons and dials on the boxes, pushed the “broadcast” button - and proudly announced that he had just set up his own “TV station”. He then walked away a few metres - and pulled a strange-looking mobile phone out of his jacket and “tuned” it in to the signal being broadcast from his makeshift “TV station”.

A portable, makeshift digital TV station.

And hey presto: he was watching a “home-made” TV channel between the palms of his hands.

It all looked too easy. When I asked him how it worked - he said “This is DVB-H - digital broadcast TV for mobile phones!

Not video-streaming. Not fuzzy, blurry pictures. Not cabled up to an aerial or a set-top box.

Just a crystal-clear, high-definition, wireless broadcast TV channel. The fact that it was being viewed on a mobile phone implied that the GPRS/3G capability of the phone could be used as the “uplink” to the TV station over the Internet. Fuelling the imagination into thinking about lots of possibilities in the field of mobile interactive TV broadcasting. But more importantly - demonstrating the possibility of using short-range radio spectrum to provide localised (and location-relevant) interactive TV applications.

Broadcast-quality, interactive digital TV on your mobile phone.

Posted by jag at January 28, 2005 11:03 PM
Mental note - make sure Him Indoors does not see this post so as not to awaken his inner geek. Posted by: stroppycow on January 29, 2005 01:08 PM
Well, it really looks amazing. I think that it may result in a proliferation of a lot of channels resulting in chaos. Though thats thinking ahead too much. Is the cost prohibitive? And what phone is that? Posted by: sat on January 29, 2005 04:28 PM
I suppose Andy Warhol was more than prophetic with his prediction that in the future everyone will have his or her 15 minutes of fame, and or I would add their own TV Series. LOL. Posted by: Fritz on January 29, 2005 08:53 PM
:-) (strop) Sat: the whole concept is being trialled over here in UK - in the town of Oxford. You can read about the trial here: http://www.160characters.org/news.php?action=view&nid=1216 The answer to your question is what hopefully be learned from the trials. That phone is a specially adapted version of the Nokia 7710: http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,,65385,00.html Posted by: Jag on January 30, 2005 09:56 AM
Fritz: Indeed he was! Although I guess in practise the use of spectrum would be regulated quite severely - making it illegal for "just anyone" to set up a broadcast facility like that. Posted by: Jag on January 30, 2005 09:58 AM
Hi Jag, Thats a neat post. Europe is the place to be for technological advancement in the Telecom area. SMS is yet to take off over here in the US. -Anand Posted by: Anand Viswanathan on February 3, 2005 11:30 PM
Hi Anand - I think you're right. Europe is buzzing in Telecoms - Mobile eespecially. US is a bit far behind. And Europe is a bit behind Korea/Japan too. Posted by: Jag on February 5, 2005 03:54 PM
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