Mobile Television: History and Market

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Mobile television


Mobile television
Mobile television is television watched on a small handheld or mobile device. It includes pay TV service delivered via mobile phone networks or received free-to-air via terrestrial television stations. Regular broadcast standards or special mobile TV transmission formats can be used. Additional features include downloading TV programs and podcasts from the internet and the ability to store programming for later viewing. According to the Harvard Business Review, the growing adoption of smartphones allowed users to watch as much mobile video in just three days of the 2010 Winter Olympics as they watched throughout the entire 2008 Summer Olympics – an increase of 564%.[1]

DMB in South Korea

The first pocket-sized mobile television was sold to the public by Clive Sinclair in January 1977. It was called the Microvision or the MTV-1. It had a 2-inch CRT screen and was also the first television which could pick up signals in multiple countries. It measured 102×159×41mm and was sold for less than £100 in the UK and for around $400 in the US. The project took over ten years to develop and was funded by around £1.6 million in British Government grants.[2][3] Mobile TV is one of the features provided by many 3G phones. In 2002, South Korea became the first country in the world to have a commercial mobile TV CDMA IS95-C network, and mobile TV over 3G (CDMA2000 1X EVDO) also became available that same year. In 2005, South Korea also became the first country in the world to have mobile TV when it started satellite DMB (S-DMB) and terrestrial DMB (T-DMB) services on May 1 and December 1, respectively. Today, South Korea and Japan are at the forefront of this developing sector.[4] Mobile TV services were launched by the operator CSL in Hong Kong, March 2006, on the 3G network.[5] 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.[6] The same happened to "MFD Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland", who launched their DMB-based service June 2006 in Germany, and stopped it in April 2008.[7] 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.[8] 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. 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.

Mobile television


Mobile TV usage can be divided into three classes: • Fixed – Watched while not moving, possibly moved when not being watched • Nomadic – Watched while moving slowly (e.g. walking) • Mobile – Watched when moving quickly (e.g. in a car) Each of these pose different challenges.

Device Manufacturer's challenges
• Power consumption – Continuous receipt, decoding, and display of video requires continuous power, and cannot benefit from all of the types of optimizations that are used to reduce power consumption for data and voice services. • Memory – To support the large buffer requirements of mobile TV. Currently available memory capabilities 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, necessitating 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...
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