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November 03, 2005

TV on my mobile

VIEWING TELEVISION broadcasts on a mobile phone sucks battery power faster than running WiFi on a phone. While the footage delivered over the 3 TV service is perfectly watchable, the images look shaky to me. Maybe it's because television footage is not optimised for mobile phone screens. I've seen something better--DVB-H on a Nokia N92 phone. The N92 has a DVB-H decoder built in from the factory. Nokia ran one in a Dublin demonstration a few months ago. They're part of a European roll-out next year, making it onto the Irish market by the end of summer 2006.

The N92 is a class mobile phone, although a little chunky for most people. It runs on Nokia's Series 60 interface, includes a web browser, WiFi, and music playback. I like the way its screen can flip around so it feels like a small DVD player. It's feels like just the right size for viewing TV shows on your lap in a bus or on a tray table aboard a train.

The screen is as good as the portable video I enjoy with my Sony screens. It measures 2.8" and offers 16m colours. It feels as though you're seeing VHS on your phone. You know you're carrying a small screen TV when you lug around the N92--you have to like large if you want quality mobile TV along with a phone.

Nokia -- N Series phones



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Unfortunately we don't have DVD-H broadcasting in Ireland making the release of the handset a bit pointless if you live here!

I've seen DVD-H running in the vicinity of Dublin's Burlington Hotel so it's just a matter of the network operators agreeing to buy the Nokia transmitters. The technology works but the concept is subordinated to 3G services like imode.

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