Smart Communications is already testing out a new service for mobile TV on a story on Inquirer.net earlier. Using a Nokia N92, there were able to demo the service which uses digital video broadcasting-handheld (DVB-H).
Similar services have already been launched by other countries such as Singapore, Finland, Italy, Albania, Vietnam and the United States. Currently, only a limited number of mobile phones are capable of running this service – Nokia N92, Nokia N77, Samsung – SGH-P910, SGH-P920, SGH-P930, SGH-P940, LG – U900, KU950.
The Nokia N77 was announced during the last 3GSM 2007 Show. The Gamdala Mobile TV Blog adds:
… the show’s major announcement was probably the Nokia N77 DVB-H handset. As rumored just before the show, this is a mid-range handset, which is targeted at initial DVB-H deployments in Vietnam, Italy and Finland. I took a look at the video quality, and it was quite good at 15 frames per second. However, every minute or two there was an occasional error in the stream (picture freezes or breaks into blocks). The demonstrator at the N77 stand in the Nokia booth claimed that this was due to the “crowded network at the show”, which seems highly unlikely since DVB-H is a broadcast network… The channel switching time was also quite long, at 4-6 seconds. The long switching time was also apparent in other DVB-H demos at the show, and I also noticed this issue in CES demos last month, which leads to the conclusion that this is probably an inherent issue with current DVB-H implementations. The Nokia representative told me that the handset will cost 370 Euros without subsidies, and has a 5 hour TV viewing time, and 7.5 days standby time.
Now, if that’s a close estimate of the performance of the handset or the network, that’s no good news to me. Still, the question here really is the readiness of the local market to embrace mobile TV. Like Smart’s 3G network expansion being put on hold, mobile TV could suffer the same sluggish fate due to lack of handset support and steep pricing.
We’ll see though. I’m up to meet one of Smart’s PR people next week to discuss the Smart Bro status and maybe I could swing in and ask to get a review/test unit for their mobile TV.