LG-HB620T with DVB-H TV
LG on Tuesday announced its LG-HB620T flip phone, which is capable of delivering streaming TV to users thanks to its Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld (DVB-H) support. Thus far, only select countries in the European Union widely stream DVB-H content, which has become the European mobile TV standard.
Samsung P960 TV Phone
Samsung has unveiled what it says is the first slider phone to offer real digital broadcast TV in Europe. The P960 shares some of its roots with the G800 but is the first in the category to include a DVB-H tuner that picks up over-the-air TV shows for the newly established standard. Alongside the ability to watch live shows, the P960 brings a pseudo-DVR memory buffer that pauses a live show for an incoming call, giving the user an uninterrupted show. An electronic guide also helps pick out a channel in advance.
SiRF Cuts Jobs Drops TV
Best known for its GPS chipsets, SiRF today said that mounting losses were forcing the company to both cut jobs and shed one of its newer businesses. The supplier to Garmin, TomTom, and several other major navigation device maker dropped its financial expectations for the first quarter of 2008 by about $10 million and explained that it would have to cut 7 percent of its total workforce and would shutter an office in the south end of San Francisco as well as a Stockholm, Sweden location.
Europe DVB-H Standard
The European Commission today said it would make DVB-H an official standard for mobile TV on the continent. Previously ratified late last year, the decision asks any European Union country to push the Nokia-made standard above others as the primary choice for digital, over-the-air TV for cellphones and other devices that can pick up the handheld standard. Officials say the decision was made in part because DVB-H has the strongest presence in Europe and is already in service in Italy, where rival standards are currently limited to tests. Allowing multiple standards to float around the market would only hurt business, the Commission explains.
Moto Z6w and W-series
Motorola's contribution to phone announcements on Monday involves an upgrade to one of its more ubiquitous sliders and two world phones. The Z6w adds Wi-Fi to the original design of the GSM-based Z6 for faster browsing at hotspots; it also offers Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) that allows it to start a call either through GSM or through VoIP (when on Wi-Fi) and to automatically switch from one format to the other if the phone's owner wanders out of range of one of the signals. Internet browsing between EDGE and Wi-Fi is also gapless, Motorola says. The Z6w continues to include a 2-megapixel camera and use Motorola's Linux-based MOTOMAGX OS. The phone ships in the spring and may see service through T-Mobile USA's HotSpot@Home.
Moto DH01 and WiMAX
Motorola today launched an aggressive campaign to bolster its wireless offerings and began with its first handheld geared just towards mobile TV: the DH01 (pictured) will pick up digital over-the-air broadcasts using the DVB-H standard and allow users to watch without the restrictions of cable or satellite; it will also offer DVR-like abilities with both a five minute buffer for short breaks and an SD card slot that stores recorded TV shows or pre-recorded music, photos, and videos the user already owns. About 90 minutes of TV shows will fit on just a 256MB SD card, Motorola estimates. The built-in battery on the DH01 lasts for four hours of live TV.
DVB-H Becomes Standard
The DVB-H (digital video broadcasting, handheld) format championed by Nokia is now ratified as Europe's standard for portable digital TV, the European Commission says today. Although the continent-wide organization had chosen the format in the summer, a vote by European Union members voted in favor of choosing the standard. This will demand that any cellphone, computer, or other device made for mobile TV in these countries must use the format for their networks. Such a decision will avoid fragmenting the market and encourage companies to develop hardware knowing they can ship a large amount and reduce the overall price, the EC says.