Feeds

Philips predicts mobile TV dominance

Phones to overtake televisions 'within a decade'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Phones will overtake televisions within a decade, says Philips

Interest in television services over cellular or broadband wireless networks is intensifying as operators seek a new, high margin application. If the boom materializes, it will also be a major boost for chipmakers. We have already seen Qualcomm unveiling its FLO OFDM-based network technology for television, and now Philips Semiconductors is predicting that, within a decade, the majority of its television chips will go into cellphones, not conventional television sets.

Leon Husson, executive vice president for the consumer businesses at Philips Semiconductors, forecasts that 50 per cent of cellphones will come with television capability by 2013, and volumes by this time will be about 600m handsets per year in total, with 300m featuring TV. Philips is currently trialling handset TV services in Berlin with Nokia, Vodafone and Universal Studios Network Germany.

There are still important hurdles to overcome for the chipmakers. One is developing "a global digital TV feature that enables a user to tune into a television anywhere in the world". Another challenge for chipmakers will be creating intelligent digital signal processors (DSPs) that will enable consumers easily to transfer content from in-home televisions and set-top boxes to phones, not only decoding audio and video streams but also encoding in the right format for the home devices. These DSPs will be able to change frame rates or resolution automatically to match the end product's capability.

Meanwhile, as the R&D departments work on the next generation handsets, operators are already launching first stage services. Cingular is now offering MobiTV, a 22-channel service created by Idetic, to its customers, featuring content from MSNBC, ABC News Now, Fox Sports, C-Span and others. AT&T Wireless had originally signed for MobiTV, and it was adopted by the whole company after the merger with Cingular. MobiTV will cost $9.99 a month. MobiTV is also available from Sprint PCS as part of the Vision service.

Before full television programming, many operators are experimenting with short episodes and clips. Most recently, Verizon Wireless has joined with a production company, Twentieth Television, to deliver direct-to-mobile shows as part of its new VCast service. The deal will also be extended to Verizon Wireless co-owner Vodafone’s Live! platform outside the US. The TV company plans to produce 52 one-minute ‘mobisodes’ of two original soap operas.

VCast will also feature a streaming video service based on Microsoft’s Windows Media, in a deal announced this week. Verizon is a valuable partner for the software giant, which has had problems establishing itself in the mobile world – Windows Media’s rival RealPlayer, is far stronger in this world. Microsoft now partners with PacketVideo, which provides multimedia software for many cellcos. Vcast will go live in February and is expected to be the most advanced phone video service available in the US.

Copyright © 2004, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

Related stories

Orb offers media on the go
Mobile players look beyond 3G
Orange beams jam-busting TV to your mobe

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.