Samsung handsets used in new mobile TV trial

By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Samsung has provided the handsets for a new trial of digital TV broadcasting for mobile phones currently underway, with the brand’s unreleased P930 mobile brought in to the country to test the system.

In what could be the final testing phase of digital video broadcasting handheld (DVB-H) technology locally before launch, digital content protection specialist Irdeto has licensed digital TV spectrum and teamed up with Broadcasting Australia, digital video solutions group Thomson Grass Valley and Samsung to further examine the potential for a rollout to the public.

The three-month trial, which commenced earlier this month, is the second of its kind following an extended test by Telstra in 2005 and last year which saw up to a thousand Sydneysiders using a similar service.

Users have access to five digital TV channels including ABC, ABC2, SBS, CNN and Boomerang. Samsung’s P930 mobile, which has been brought in specially for the trial, is a flip phone with a unique swivelling screen which swings around into landscape mode for DVB-H viewing.

The model has been released in Italy and other markets where DVB-H is already underway.

“Samsung is about driving innovation and showcasing technology and that’s the reason we are involved in this trial. We hope that DVB-H is successfully launched and that we can be actively involved in that too,” Samsung Mobile senior product manager, Dave Kelly, told Current.com.au today.

The federal government has announced that one of two spare channels of unallocated digital TV spectrum has been reserved for DVB-H broadcasting, and is currently assessing applications for the license which is likely to be auctioned off before the end of the year.

The objective of this latest trial is to progress understanding of the various technology platforms available for DVB-H.

“This trial has a number of key differences from previous mobile TV trials,” said Broadcast Australia general manager, Martin Farrimond.

“These include the latest generation DVB-H head-end digital access and content protection system. In addition, the trial will test statistical multiplexing – a technique that allows more services to be distributed in any given bandwidth, thus making better use of any investment in a mobile TV network.”

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