South Koreans tune in to mobile digital TV

South Korea

Mobile terrestrial digital television looks to be proving successful in South Korea, with 1m receivers sold since the introduction of the country's service six months ago, according to a report from technology news provider IDG.

Seven free-to-air stations were launched last December by broadcasters KBS, MBC, SBS and YTN, along with radio and data service counterparts—all of which are presently available in the South Korean capital of Seoul. The land-based mobile TV service—the first of its kind in the world—is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the country before the end of the year.

Around 320,000 of the receivers sold so far are mobile phones, with other devices including laptop computers and digital media players, claims the IDG report, which goes on to say that the service uses Terrestrial Digital Mobile Broadcasting (T-DMB), a domestic technology based on the Digital Multimedia Broadcasting standard used by DTT and satellite broadcasting throughout Europe and Asia.

Images are transmitted at 30 frames a second in Common Intermediate Format (CIF) employing MPEG4 AVC compression.

Tests of T-DMB, which is a rival to both the widespread Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) and Japan's Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) systems, are now being carried out in a number of other nations—most notably Germany during the current FIFA World Cup.

And earlier this month the BBC and ITV said they would supply content for a UK trial of the T-DMB standard alongside a trial of another digital audio broadcasting (DAB) technology, Internet Protocol over DAB (DAB-IP). The six-month trial?which comes ahead of the expected release of Band III spectrum later this year and L-Band spectrum in early 2007?is the result of collaboration between the UK and South Korea.

Lovelace Consulting  |  27.06.2006

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