TV in a Phone- Now It's Digital
By Eric Lin, Fri Sep 26 00:15:00 GMT 2003

Sony have announced a digital TV tuner chipset exclusively for mobile devices, claiming it is the smallest and lowest power chip of its kind.

Once produced in volume, the chipsets should only add about USD 50-60 to the price of phone. Which isn't bad considering it would mean one less device you'd have to buy or carry to watch digital TV. NEC have already produced a handset prototype incorporating this new TV tuner, but doesn't expect to release it until 2005.

The appeal of TV tuners in mobile phones has escaped us so far, especially since broadcast channels continue to lose market share to premium cable/satellite channels. However MobileMag sheds some light on the reason why some Japanese and Korean manufacturers are working on this technology: mobile specific digital TV programming. "Japan plans to roll out terrestrial digital broadcasting in certain regions by the end of 2003 and launch a signal specifically designed for mobile applications in 2005." We assume Korea has a similar implementation on the horizon. Mobile specific TV programming makes a TV tuner sound far more justifiable, and interesting, doesn't it?