The first ever UK user trial of multi-channel TV to mobile phones is set to launch spring next year. The usability trial is being conducted by ntl and O2 and will start with nine broadcast transmitters covering the areas in and around Oxford.
500 customers will be supplied with a multimedia mobile phone with a built-in digital TV receiver. The testers will then be able to watch 16 TV channels covering the whole spectrum of different tastes – from sport to cartoons, comedy to news. The idea is that the two companies will be able to evaluate consumer interest in mobile TV services to see whether there’s a demand for it.
Ntl and O2 are being aided in their research by Sony Semiconductor & Electronic Solutions (SES) and Nokia, who will be providing their prototype DVB-H receivers for the purpose of the trial. The DVB-H broadcast transmission standard has been designed especially for handheld devices, which means it has low power consumption and, according to ntl, “robust reception”.