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Mobile TV services - What's New? Mobile TV services

06 June 2005
Written by Ben Shann

Billions of consumers own and use mobile phones. With the increasing evidence of multimedia functions in many different forms of multimedia devices it is about time that a handheld portable mobile was patented here in Australia with support for television services.

Nokia were the first telecommunications company to successful achieve a live TV mobile demonstration in Monaco (November 2003). With this feat behind them, Nokia have continued to pioneer the way elsewhere in the world offering solutions for the global-vendor release of mobile TV. With PDA technology advancing and also upgrading in multimedia functions here in Australia, Nokia in conjunction with The Bridge Networks are hoping to bridge the gap between Australasia and the United States and bring this form of technology to our shores. So with corporate Commercial mobile TV services expected to start in 2006, now is the time.

The “Nokia Networks” trial is expected to commence in Sydney in the next couple of months with over five hundred users taking part in the testing. In this testing, The Nokia 7710 will be the smart phone, installed with an additional feature to allow mobile TV broadcasts. This technology DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld) will enable direct links to the internet for access to allow background info on TV programs, and sporting score results. Handy! Lets hope the Nokia 7710 is a useful enough front end for this mobile implementation.

“In addition to Nokia, several other companies are cooperating in the test, including Digita Oy of Finland, which is managing the service, and mobile phone customers from providers Elisa and Sonera…Other participating firms include Finnish broadcasting company YLE, and programming units of MTV, Nelonen, CNN, BBC World, Euronews, Eurosport, ViVa Plus, and Fashion TV. “

The project has gathered interest from various providers who will offer various broadcast ranges including simultaneous transmission of multiple channels of television, radio, video, audio, IP and other computer data to a large amount of multimedia device types including PDA’s, iMates etc.

It is expected that like minded Australian subscription and privatised television companies will take heed in the project, offering entertainment, news and information services to the Australian public.

Tell me more...

Handheld (DVB-H) is the technology responsible for driving mobile TV communications. A combination of conventional digital video and IP, DVB-H which is already in place in millions of televisions world wide is scaled down for usage with portable devices

Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial (DVB-T), is the current standard in digital video broadcasting. Due to the fact it wasn’t developed initially to support mobile devices, the antenna technology is being improved to accommodate the upcoming need for mobile television broadcasting.

Another limitation to portable devices has been the battery life required to support usable DVB-T reception. The new standard, or upgraded and scaled design (DVB-H) is what has been developed to overcome this limitation.

“In addition to a great reduction of battery power consumption, DVB-H had other major requirements: maximum compatibility with DVB-T systems and networks, as well as the ability to receive 15Mbit/s in an 8MHz channel and in a wide area single frequency network at high speed. This technology will be further developed when mobile TV goes live.”

Using a combination of DVB-H and IP datacasing allows high bandwidth, which means high quality broadcast quality. The technology also features performance enhancing techniques such as time-slicing, 4k-mode, forward correction, DVB-T compatibility, and streaming. DVB-H uses MPEG-4, Winodws Media 9, AAC and similar video and audio coding and compressing methods to enable the reduction in bandwidth to further delivery more acceptable quality.

Another notable fact here is that once content is broadcast, there is no technical limit to how many people can receive it within the area covered. Therefore this form of broadcasting becomes a cost effective technique in delivering mass media to a mass of consumers.

Although some remain sceptical as to the need for this form of communication, it is evident that a lot of industries and communications networks are supporting the project, so expect to hear much more about it in upcoming months.

For more information (including a more comprehensive overview of the technologies involved) visit the official Mobile TV website at Nokia at http://www.nokia.com/mobiletv.



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