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.
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?”