LG Electronics, which co-developed with Harris much of the new ATSC Mobile DTV transmission system, is using the CTIA Wireless 2010 show in Las Vegas this week to highlight new mobile DTV-capable cell phones.
LG is demonstrating three prototype cell phone models, all of which use the company's LG2161R receiver chip. They include a CDMA phone with twin LCD screens (on the inside, and outside, of the clamshell handset); a CDMA model with a 2.8-inch LCD screen and up to four hours of DTV-viewing battery life; and a GSM phone with a 3-inch LCD screen , also with up to four hours of DTV viewing time.
"With more broadcasters adding mobile digital TV transmissions each month, we want to show the wireless industry exactly what's involved in delivering over-the-air digital TV signals, familiar programs from your favorite TV stations, to mobile phone users," said said Ehtisham Rabbani, vice president, marketing and innovation, LG Mobile Phones, in a statement. "The devices we're showing here work with the free over-the-air Mobile DTV signals from broadcasters, complementing video services by wireless carriers."
Broadcasters will likely need to reach deals with wireless carriers to include such capabilities in their subsidized phones before such products hit retail. But there are other solutions to mobile DTV reception, including USB-type accessory receivers. In that vein, LG is also demonstrating at CTIA its new LG X300 netbook connected to an external USB-port "dongle" receiver that can tune in to over-the-air mobile DTV signals.
"Among the first products to reach consumers will be a variety of USB receivers for mobile DTV, most of which are built around LG chips for reception," said Dr. Jong Kim, president of LG's U.S. R&D lab, Zenith, in a statement. "These low-cost receivers can instantaneously transform a netbook, or laptop computer into a mobile digital TV receiver with the addition of software that will come with the USB device. LG is working with more than a dozen companies to introduce mobile DTV products in the U.S. market-all powered by LG chips."