I was fortunate enough to witness a demo of SMART’s latest service called Smart Mobile TV. This happened last April 23-25, 2007, in the island of Boracay. We’ve all heard about 3G’s capability to offer streaming video and content, but Mobile TV takes it to a whole new level. Using a technology different from the now common 3G, Mobile TV makes use of DVB-H (digital video broadcasting for handheld devices) technology which broadcasts encrypted digital video at high bandwidths. This basically means you get high quality, crisp images on your mobile device.The unit loaned to us for testing the new service was the Nokia N92, one of the few handsets supporting Mobile TV. It was amazing how easy and clear it was to watch TV on the phone, considering that the screen is no 30-incher. The video feed was good enough for me to see the time left on the shot clock of Game 1 between the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Lakers, and that, for me, is the best feature I’ve seen so far on a phone.
This new service is literally cable TV made for your portable device, though channel availability during the demo was limited to 9 channels (CNN, Basketball TV, CNBC, BBC, MTV, Channel V, Fashion TV, Jack TV and AFC). But as the service rolls out for public release, more channels will be added, including local ones, according to Mr. Raymund Miranda, president of NBC. NBC will be the content provider for this new service.
The price of the service is still unknown, but like cable, it entails that the user subscribe to a service plan depending on the set of channels one wants to get. Based on the demo, this is another service from SMART bound to be a hit, especially for us Filipinos who just can’t seem to get enough of TV.
*cross-posted from m-ph.com