The company's headset works with Nokia's N8 smartphone and allows (for now, European) users to watch TV without the Web.
As mobile phones continue to offer consumers the ability to watch
streaming audio and video, handset makers like Nokia are working to
combat issues such as wireless availability and other download issues
that can turn the entertaining process of watching video content a
Nokia's Mobile TV Headset, DVB-H, allows users to turn their mobile
device into a portable television. Anywhere there's mobile DVB-H
(Digital Video Broadband - Handset) coverage, users can tune into TV
shows and watch them without needing an Internet connection. The
company claims DVB-H technology is also less draining on the handset's
battery than other Web TV solutions are.
The headset handles call reception and volume in a similar way to other
mobile headsets, so users don't miss calls while watching content, and
it also features keys for changing channels and music controls for the
player on your handset. There's an app called Mobile TV available for
compatible handsets, which is either pre-installed on compatible
devices or it can be downloaded from the Ovi Store. Users can also
download the application via the company's Web site, a Nokia release
The Mobile TV Headset works with the forthcoming Nokia N8 and other
Symbian^3 devices that come with the USB-on-the-go (USB OTG) feature.
It is expected to cost ?Ã¶?Â®??40 (about $50) before taxes and will appear in
the fourth quarter of this year. "One word of caution. While it is
expanding, DVB-H coverage is still patchy in many countries," the
release noted. "Licensing issues and lack of frequency availability
have stalled many projects, though there do appear to be working
services in the Netherlands, Russia, New Delhi and Helsinki, for
example. Check carefully with local dealers before you buy."
DVB-H is one of three prevalent mobile TV formats. It is a technical
specification for bringing broadcast services to mobile handsets and
was formally adopted as European Telecommunications Standards Institute
(ETSI) standard EN 302 304 in Nov. 2004. The major competitors of this
technology are Qualcomm's MediaFLO system, the 3G cellular system based
MBMS mobile-TV standard, and the ATSC M/H format in the U.S.
Time slicing technology is employed to reduce power consumption for
small handheld terminals. IP datagrams are transmitted as data bursts
in small time slots. Each burst may contain up to two megabits of data,
including parity bits. The front end of the receiver switches on only
for the time interval when the data burst of a selected service is on
air. Within this short period of time a high data rate is received
which can be stored in a buffer. This buffer can either store the
downloaded applications or playout live streams.
The Nokia N8 handset offers a 12-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss
optics and Xenon flash, the ability to record high definition videos
along with the ability to edit them on the move, the Dolby surround
sound tech and the dedicated Web TV application. Also included is an
HDMI connector, 3.5-inch HD capacitive touchscreen, 16GB of built-in
storage that's expandable to 48GB with a microSD card and free walk and
The handset's USB OTG allows for devices that generally fulfill the
role of being a slave USB device (which might be, e. g. digital audio
player or mobile phone) to a USB host (usually a desktop or notebook
computer) to become the host themselves when paired with another USB
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.