By Matthew Henry

MELBOURNE: Telstra is using the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne to demonstrate the benefits of digital TV for mobile phones to consumers by broadcasting up to seven channels of live television coverage of the event over the Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) standard.

DVB-H is one of many versions of the Digital Video Broadcasting standard, which includes DVB-T currently used for terrestrial digital TV. DVB-H can deliver television, radio and data content directly to a tuner located in the user’s mobile phone, and is designed to optimise battery life in mobile devices.

A discussion paper launched on Tuesday by Federal Minister for Communications, Senator Coonan, proposed using reserved digital TV spectrum for two new digital services, which would be used for subscription TV services, narrowcasting, interactive services or short video services for either TV sets or mobile phones.

This is the first showcase of DVB-H technology in Melbourne and follows a trial currently underway in Sydney in which 400 Telstra customers are using DVB-H equipped mobile phones to test the service.

The demonstration is taking place at the Telstra Discovery Centre at Melbourne’s Birrarung Marr, a key pedestrian corridor between venues including the MCG and Rod Laver Arena.

Visitors to the Telstra Discovery Centre can tune into live TV broadcasts of the Games including Channel 9’s running coverage via Eten M600 phones on display.

The demonstration is being run in conjunction with Microsoft and Broadcast Australia and will continue until the closing ceremony on Sunday 26 March.

“We are very pleased to be part of this wonderful event,” said Broadcast Australia managing director, Graeme Barclay.

“We believe strongly that mobile TV is a product of the future that allows consumers the opportunity to access their favourite television shows via a handheld device anywhere, at any time.”