The big story at 3GSM is TV on mobiles, with everyone from manufacturers through to networks hoping to convince punters that going square eyed watching Corrie on the bus is a good thing. However handsets that are specifically designed for mobile TV are still pretty thin on the ground.
I popped over to the LG stand and had a look at its take on the TV phone – the V9000. LG is keeping its options open as the phone is available in a trio of different versions; as the V9000 with a T-DMB digital TV tuner built in for Germany and some other European countries, as the Media Flo mobile TV for the US and as the DVB-H (the format most fancied by Nokia) which surprisingly enough has a DVB-H decoder built in.
At the moment no one really knows which standard will win in which particular territories. You’d have thought that DVB-H was the best bet for the UK, but there are some sceptics who think we won’t see it until the great analogue TV shut off scheduled for 2012.
Nevertheless no matter which TV format it uses the LG whatever is a pretty nifty phone. It has superb quality 262K screen which cleverly flips into a T delivering a widescreen view. The quality of the images, which incidentally were taken from a video card and not live, were however very impressive. Personally I prefer the laptop style TV form format of the Nokia N92, but the T route is it a very clever way of keeping the size of the handset down.
Even so the handset is a chunky, especially when compared with all the slim mobiles at the show, and this ultimately might limit its appeal. A version of the phone, quite possibly without a TV tuner, will go on sale in Europe in June. If any of the TV formats launches anywhere in Europe this year LG says it will be ready and waiting.