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Sunday, July 11, 2004

Mobile TV coming of age via BBCworld

With mobiles starting to dominate our daily lives, there is growing interest in the idea of TV on the phone.Mobile TV has been tried before, never with much success.There is the problem of getting decent reception while you are on the move, let alone the issue of battery life and watching programmes on a tiny screen.A method called time-slicing means that at least the receiver is not on all the time."Time-slicing is a way of making the device's battery last a lot longer because it isn't running all the time," explained Mr Squires of Nokia."What's actually happening is that the programme it's receiving is being sent to it in very intense bursts of data, and between those bursts it allows the device to completely shut down, apart, obviously, from the screen and the sound."To the user it looks like the programme is being received constantly, all the time, but in fact the device is in a sleep state for the majority of the time."Receiving the programme in short, high-speed bursts means that the signal is received a few seconds before it is needed, and that buffering means that the device can also cope with short breaks in reception. So if you go under a bridge, you will not lose the picture.Korea and Japan are way ahead of the game and have been testing several methods of reception for a couple of years.The existing Korean 3G network is fast enough to stream live TV. It is basically broadband TV on your mobile.

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