Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mobile TV @ Mobile Monday Taipei

This month's topic at Mobile Monday Taipei is Mobile TV and David Tsai (project manager, GigaByte) and Francesca Lai (project director, Public Television Service Foundation) both made interesting presentations on the topic. Of course, David showed off the latest GigaByte T600 PDA phone which is able to receive both DVB-T and DVB-H broadcasts; while PTS showcased its live contents for the mobile TV. There were live also demos on phones from Nokia and Samsung, and some photos of the prototype phones being developed by Asus, Mitac, Motorola, and Compal were also presented. Both presenters mentioned that the local Taiwanese operators' interest in mobile TV are quite high, but there are still aways (3~5 years) to go before significant adoption will take place in the local market. In fact, the Taiwanese government has yet to grant license for DVB-H and there are currently 5 groups conducting field tests/trials in various parts of Taiwan.

David highlighted 2 main differences between DVB-T and DVB-H:
1) DVB-H is designed to have better battery efficiency, which is quite important since people wouldn't want to miss any important calls just because they watched a few minutes of mobile tv.
2) DVB-T is designed for home settings while DVB-H is tailored for mobility. This means that one has a better chance of getting DVB-H programming when traveling in a car or on a train. However, it still depends on how strong the signals are in certain areas. According to David, the T600 is able to receive DVB-T signals when driving at only 60 km/hr in Taipei versus 80 km/hr in Vienna, Austria.

There are currently 16 free channels on DVB-T today in Taiwan, and users can get free sneak previews of the contents on DVB-H as well since they are still on trial.

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