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.

“This is an important milestone…TV has been a sedentary experience tied down to homes, hotels, offices…myTV unchains Philippine TV and sets it free,” Smart president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno said during the launch.

Nazareno said the service is “a powerful demonstration how media and telecoms can deliver new content to the public.”

Orlando Vea, president and chief executive officer of 360media, said the service will bring “disruptive change” to Philippine TV. But, he said, conventional TV “will still be a fixture” and that the service will “stretch viewing time even more.”

Raymund Miranda, 360media managing director for mobile TV, said the current offering is still the first phase and that more channels will be added later. When asked, he said they may keep the price as is even as they add more channels. During the demonstration for Cebu journalists a few months back, Miranda told me technical limitations will place the channels at less than 20. I wasn’t able to get the chance to ask him again about this during the launch.

Danilo Mojica, head of Smart’s wireless consumer division, said the service will spur people to upgrade their handsets to move to the new technology. He said they have aggressive “subscriber acquisition” target, projecting 60,000 to 70,000 users in the coming months.

Officials said the Smart video streaming service will continue in parallel with myTV. Vea said phone users can watch shows on myTV but “if you missed shows, you can go to streaming 3G service.” The two services, he said, are “very complementary.”

While myTV is touted as a personal TV experience, studies during their trials showed that 46% watched myTV “in a shared environment,” said Miranda. Miranda said he once saw five or six people gathered around one myTV device, cheering on Manny Pacquiao in his most recent fight.

Miranda said that with the service, “there is no more prime time” because people can now watch shows whenever they want to. I don’t have access to their studies during the test phase but I think commute hours can become the new “mobile” prime time, if the service takes off.

MyTV will initially be available in Mega Manila, Metro Cebu, Davao, Tagaytay, Batangas, and Baguio City. Smart said that Boracay and Cagayan de Oro will soon be covered.

The service will be free until Aug. 31 to give subscribers a chance to try it out. MyTV can be accessed using compatible handsets such as the N92 and the coming N77. The service package is available to both post-paid and pre-paid Smart subscribers. Pre-paid subscribers need only to maintain a P1 airtime load and P488 for the the monthly subscription.

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32 responses

  1. mr. limpag, i need to ask you questions regarding the se k750i.. pls give me your email add.. thank you very much

  2. This will give us “new TV experience”.

    I hope this will also be soon available in Zamboanga City.

  3. Ding qua qua Avatar
    Ding qua qua

    would love to try it, will be buying n92 asap! hahaha

  4. Prime,
    Just leave your question here or on one of my K75oi posts. You’ll never now, some of the other commenters might be able to help too. πŸ™‚

    My impression is that it won’t be that soon. Their next areas for expansion are Cagayan de Oro and Boracay.

    Ding qua qua,
    Lucky you! You can afford to buy high-end phones anytime πŸ™‚ . The rest of us have to save up for it.

  5. jomar catalan Avatar
    jomar catalan

    how much???

  6. Jomar,
    As I said in the post the service is P488 a month. If you’re a pre-paid SMart user, you also need to maintain at leat a P1 airtime load.

  7. dingchan Avatar

    would the smart tv be available on nokia 7710?

  8. dingchan,
    No. Smart TV is transmitted through a DVB-H network. The Nokia 7710 is not a DVB-H capable handset so it can’t pick up the signal.

  9. would this smart TV available on nokia N73 I’m a pre paid user, how much do i have to load to watch a TV program

  10. Edralyn Mendoza Avatar
    Edralyn Mendoza

    would d smart TV be available on PDA phones like HP ipaq and O2 XDA II mini Phone?

  11. THE FIRST commercial mobile TV service in the Philippines, myTV, may run into trouble with regulators.

    Officials of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said companies planning to broadcast digital programs to TV sets or mobile devices cannot yet go commercial because the commission has yet to issue guidelines on digital TV programming.


  12. ang pangit naman kc sa n series lang pwede

  13. wala naman palang kwentw yan eh

  14. Wala,
    The service will only work with handsets that have DVB-H capabilities. As I said, the signal isn’t sent through the telecoms network, it’s an actual TV broadcast. There are non-Nokia handsets, however, that can access the service.

  15. I’m a pre-paid user how much is 1 airtime load to watch a TV progran.

  16. jammil,
    You can’t subscribe to TV programs, you have to enrol for the whole service. For pre-paid users, it’s P488 a month and at least P1 of airtime load.

  17. Bryan Neil R. Ragpa Avatar
    Bryan Neil R. Ragpa

    As a gadget collector, N92 seemed to be one of the best thing ive ever seen!! I am a loner at home and I do have problems with my tv set-up, the signals and a lot more. i am looking forward to buying this phone soon!!

  18. Rowell A. Bermachea Avatar
    Rowell A. Bermachea

    (1) how can i subscribed mytv,
    (2) it is include to my monthly bill,
    (3) i have a mobile N95 it is ok for the myTV. thanks

  19. Hi.. ill be getting the unit soon from my friend coming from outside the country.. will it work here in phils? thanks.. just making sure bcoz i dont wanna waste my time and money in buying the said unit.
    Thanks again…

  20. knd_vergz Avatar

    is the myTV of smart available in a sony ericsson mobile phone????

  21. TO dingchan,

    bro as far as i know nokia 7710 is DVB-H capable, but…

    u need to attach a special cover at the back of the phone that contains the dvb-h device.

  22. i watched d demos and it was so clear. how abt local shows like GMA or ABS? Avid viewer kasi ako ng primetime shows but sometimes Im on the go kya d ko mapanuod! πŸ™

  23. cable shows lang ba puede sa MyTV? how about local shows?

  24. mag kano ang subscription pag sa province. i have my n77. ok ba yan sa oriental mindoro. how many channels ang mapapanood ko.

  25. got my n92 and mytv since aug. 2007. free pa yata sya until today (jan. 31, 2008). currently, dey hav 10 channels. mag add pa daw sila ng 4 new channels dis feb. P488/mo., regardless ng place mo as long as my coverage ng mytv sa lugar mo. kaya lang nakalagay sa promo nila, my PBO (Pinoy Box Office) pero wala na sya, Basketball TV na ang pumalit.

  26. 1. di po pede n95 sa mytv. n92 at n77 lang po pede sa ngayon.

    2. for postpaid consumable, yup! on top sya. P488/mo.

    3. wala pa cguro sa mindoro.

    4. wala pang local shows. sana nga meron eh. hehehe

    5. kung malinaw sya non, mas malinaw sya ngayon. sobra! TV talaga.

  27. earth,
    Thanks for the feedback and update! πŸ™‚

  28. di ako makapag renew ng subscription. laging “failed ang subscription ko sa smart bundle, server error” lagi me call sa smart wa epek pa rin. wat will i do sa n77 ko. martilyuhin ko na lang ba o papalakulin ko na lang…. hehehe

  29. Glenn Avatar

    Bakit ganun di pwede N95. aww…..

  30. broadway Avatar

    pwede ba mag advertize sa mytv phone, TVC? how much ang package? May medical show ba or entertainment show na makikita? Tnx.

  31. Well ,Well ,Well, Thats a great idea this is because i have registered my tv in kenya and i want to the first to offer the mobile tv in a big way. Please get in touch.

  32. Banas C. Asar Avatar
    Banas C. Asar

    how was that?? d pede sa n95??? d nalang.. sayang naman yang MyTv, saka dapat mas priority nilang lagyan ang mga matataas ang model ng units, kesa sa mga luma na… kase mas marami ng nag lalabasang bagong models ngayon… yung mga n92 saka n77 malapit ng ma face off…
    saka mas kikita sila kung compatible yan sa kahit na anong unit ng phone, kahit sa lahat ng Nseries man lang sana…
    unfair!!!!!!!!!!!! kayo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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