The USB Dongle, developed by Legend Silicon and aigo, has been developed to allow Chinese sports fans the ability to watch the 2008 Beijing Olympics in HD on their laptops. Of course, with China's big media being state-owned and all, it'll only work with coverage being broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV).
An estimated 800, 000 foreign tourists and 15 million Chinese residents are expected to tune into the Beijing Olympics via CCTV, and the developing companies of the USB Dongle say that their product is the most economical, efficient and portable way to view Olympic coverage.
Despite the European Union throwing its complete support behind DVB-H, analysts say it won't be enough to ensure success for mobile TV. First of all, a lack of innovative business models won't bring back the viewers who are steadily flocking away from broadcast TV. Second of all, carriers also face the absence of a workable business model and viewers would be unwilling to pay the costs necessary just to cover the cost of content creation. The only ones who will really be able to profit from mainstream mobile TV is manufacturers such as Nokia because they actually provide the equipment, keeping their costs relatively low.
Currently mobile TV consists of nothing more than repackaged content straight from the same channels as that on your living room set. Analysts say that mobile will never succeed like this-content will have to be much more personalized and on-demand. If broadcast TV is ever so slowly moving the way of the deadpool from the comfort of your living room, it'll never succeed as a business model for those on the go. The challenges described so far are all reasonably easy to solve with a little brainstorming. The final challenge may be the one that a common DVB-H standard can't beat.
The EU will also have to reach a common spectrum for DVB-H use, as standard DVB-H will be useless if the spectrum available to transmit it isn't common as well. Interference at borders would be on consequence of uncommon spectrum use. And while the US has auctioned off blocks of open spectrum available as a result of the coming digital TV transition, Europe hasn't, meaning mobile TV will have to compete with other television formats just to gain the spectrum necessary to exist.
Sling Media is working on new versions of its SlingPlayer Mobile for S60, Windows Mobile Standard and Windows Mobile Professional. The updated software will better support newer handsets such as Nokia's N95. Sling Media is also hard at work on its SlingPlayer for the Blackberry which should be released sometime later this year.
Today the European Commission added the Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld (DVB-H) standard to its list of telecommunicatio standards, a step forward in establishing a single market for mobile TV across the European continent. By integrating the DVB-H standard across Europe, mobile TV providers will have a market large enough to begin offering services on a bigger scale, moving toward the expected 20 million Pound, 500 million customer (globally) mobile TV market in 2011. For more information, check out the European Commission's press release.
The last time we mentioned MobiTV here at TVSnob was way back in 2006 when AT&T was the first American broadband provider to offer a live mobile TV subscription service in partnership with the mobile content provider. Now MobiTV is the mobile TV provider on Sprint Nextel cell phones and has been in a fight with Toronto-based HowardForums the past couple of days to get the cellular forum to take down instructions revealing how to access MobiTV's content feeds for free. Originally sent a cease and desist letter from MobiTV, HowardForum's refused to take down the posting after which MobiTV sent notification to the forum's service provider looking to take down the site entirely. Howard Chui, owner of HowardForums originally refused to take down the posting because it simply linked to feeds available to the public domain via MobiTV's website. Apparently the situation has now been resolved though. MobiTV has secured the content and is back on good terms with HowardForums.
Calling all torrent freak/iPhone owners! The iPhone now has its own native P2P torrent software, courtesy of the iPhone Hacker core who were able to take the open-source BitTorrent client Transmission and get it running on the iPhone after a few failed attempts. While the coding isn't my forte, I was able to decipher the following: don't run this client with EDGE and if you do use this, expect your battery to die real damn quickly.
Sharp has created the world's smallest 1-seg digital TV tuner for mobile phones with its new VA3A5JZ922. With dimensions of 5.9 x 5.9 x 09mm, the digital tuner is a full third smaller than the next smallest 1-seg tuner on the market. Sharp looks to be betting big on mobile TV to eventually become mainstream as they will produce 1 million VA3A5JZ922 tuners per month once mass production starts September 30, 2008.
There are some cool things coming out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, one of them being a mini optical disc drive for your mobile phone from Vmedia. Called the "Vmedia" format and "designed to bring the quality of a big screen experience...to mobile consumer electronics", is currently shipping to phone manufacturers.
A Vmedia disc inserts into the world's smallest blue-laser drive, holding complete feature-length movies in 576p resolution with H.264 video and AAC audio codecs. Discs are currently single-layer with 1 GB of storage space, but a dual-layer disc with twice the storage capacity will ship in 2009. A second-generation "slim" drive with a reduced height is expected to ship near the end of 2008 as well.
Planning on taking a taxi in New York City anytime soon? Reuters has signed a deal with WABC-TV to bring news and financial information to Taxi TV, the ABC owned-and-operated television service available in 4500 NYC taxis, with another 1000 additions in April.
Reuters will join AccuWeather, ESPN, Zagat Survey and WABC-TV's Eyewitness News in providing "people on the go their choice of frequently updated content from the top providers".
YouTube officially launched YouTube For Mobile yesterday, offering mobile access to the majority of YouTube videos, access to your account and community features fundamental to the internet platform such as sharing, favorites, and commenting, and the ability to upload your own videos via email/mms on your cell phone.
YouTube For Mobile Explained
YouTube says the mobile service will be available in every corner of the globe including the following countries: UK, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand, Germany, and Russia. Some features are required to use the service such as service with a wireless carrier that allows streaming videos and a mobile device that supports RTSP streaming.