Mobile Digital Television, which lets you watch TV on mobile device, is the latest putative craze. Right now it's just keeping its head down until this iPad thing blows over and people are looking for The Next Big Thing.
Industry observer John R. Quain, took several Mobile DTV gizmos for a test drive recently, and pronounced himself "impressed by the technology's video quality, plus its versatility in integrating with a wide array of devices."
Brief background: As Quain says, "Industry observers expect a slew of Mobile DTV-compliant products, from cell phones to laptops, to emerge this year." It's free, and by late spring "some 30 stations will be broadcasting in the new format," mainly in the large metropolitan areas. The hardware isn't expensive to add to a cell phone or other portable device.
Testing in the New York metropolitan area, "the only test channel available at the time of my hands-on review was one operated by ION Media Networks," Quain noted, showing "rebroadcasted children's programming and CNBC news."
Nevertheless, Quain says, "I was surprisingly entertained. I could view uninterrupted programs on the LG smartphone as I walked down the street, or on the LG DVD player as I rode in the backseat of a car. The credit-card-size Valups Wi-Fi adapter tuned in to the test channel at a restaurant and displayed it on my iPod Touch well enough to keep my daughter happily diverted."
Both LG and Samsung (News - Alert) have demonstrated cell phones with Mobile DTV, Quain says, adding that "some Mobile DTV broadcasters are looking at the possibility of offering additional for-pay channels that could induce wireless carriers to add Mobile DTV to their handsets."
Dell (News - Alert) has already announced plans to market a netbook with Mobile DTV, and Panasonic and a number of other major consumer electronics companies have voiced support for the standard, Quain notes.David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Patrick Barnard