MyTV? May TV! Analog TV in mobile phone

A Sun.Star Cebu colleague bought an interesting phone recently. May TV. (Note: Pronounce may as mai; may is the Tagalog word for “with.”) It’s not Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld or DVB-H, the technology used by Smart’s myTV service. It’s good old analog TV, the free-to-air signals picked up by regular TVs using antennae.

Mobile TV MOBILE TV. Viewing QTV in TVMobile, a Chinese-made touchscreen phone that can pick up analog TV signals. The antenna at the bottom of the phone can be used as a stylus. Click on photo to enlarge.

The brand printed on the faceplate is TVMobile and for P7,000 (the price when he bought it), it is chock-full of features. The phone was made in China and came with a Chinese manual. It is being sold by a stall in one of the department stores on Colon St. in Cebu City.

The mobile TV offered by Smart’s myTV uses DVB-H and, apart from needing a compatible handset, you need to pay a monthly subscription fee to view the shows. With the TVMobile phone, you don’t need to pay fees, maintain a credit load in your phone, or subscribe to a service.

Since it picks up regular analog TV signal, the video quality isn’t that great, unlike the high-quality video you get with myTV.

When we viewed a show in his cubicle inside the Sun.Star Cebu building, the video was grainy—a signal that, in the time before cable TV, meant you had to climb up your roof to adjust the antenna’s orientation and shout “OK na?”

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Smart launches mobile TV service

For less than the monthly subscription fee of a cable TV connection, you can now watch digital TV anytime and anywhere on compatible mobile phones.

Smart Telecommunications Inc. and 360media launched on Tuesday myTV, a service that allows people to view high-quality TV broadcasts on their phones. The quality of the video is really great, it’s better than the quality of the SkyCable feed, on a bad day, to the unit next to my newsroom cubicle.

mobile tv MYTV. CNN as viewed on a Nokia N92 unit during the Cebu demonstration of Smart’s mobile TV service. Click on photo to enlarge. (Photo by Sun.Star’s Ruel Rosello)

Unlike the current prevalent video streaming and downloading service, myTV does not use the cellular network to transmit the video. It is broadcast, similar to how regular TV receives images via an antennae. MyTV uses the Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld or DVB-H platform for broadcasting.

For P488 a month, Smart subscribers can view CNN, MTV Philippines, Cartoon Network, National Geographic, Pinoy Box Office, History Channel, Solar Sports, Basketball TV, ETC, and Jack TV.

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