Siemens Shows Off Mobile TV

The Soccer World Cup will be the test run for television on the mobile phone

March 6, 2006

2 Min Read

MUNICH -- Soccer goes mobile: The Soccer World Cup will be the test run for television on the mobile phone, with the breakthrough onto the mass market expected to take place by the next Olympic Games in 2008, at the latest. But visitors to CeBIT can already try out mobile television at the trade fair. On Stand A31 in Hall 26, Siemens will be giving a live demonstration of how everything works, and what innovations the mobile phone user can expect. Among other things, it will be showing that mobile radio can do more than simply bring TV to a small screen. With mobile phone connections acting as the return channel, mobile phone TV becomes interactive, and viewers can directly participate in the program.

The Soccer World Cup will see the first larger-scale pilot experiments in Germany with mobile television. This is about having the right technology for mobile broadcasting, i.e. the transmission of TV programs suitable for the mobile phone. Above all, "suitable for the mobile phone" means that the pictures appear needle-sharp on the phone's display, and that the restricted screen size is taken into account. When soccer matches are transmitted, for instance, the live pictures have to be processed so that the ball is not just seen as a tiny dot on the pitch in the overall picture. To achieve this, the picture is zoomed in on, and the enlarged section then transmitted "near live" - with a short delay due to the extra processing involved.

Mobile broadcasting is not to be confused with streaming by means of the Unicast method, i.e. unilaterally calling up videos via broadband mobile technologies such as UMTS. The major mobile providers in Germany have been offering this technology for quite some time now. But until the same can be said for mobile phone TV, the matter of which standard is to be used first needs to be settled. As is so often the case with completely new technologies, a variety of technologies are also competing for predominance in mobile broadcasting. So, the soccer tournament will be used as the test-piece for deciding which technology is the best. Competing in the final will be DMB and DVB-H: DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcast) is based on the standard used for digital radio, i.e. DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast). In contrast, DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) is based on DVB-T, the technology used for terrestrial transmission of digital television (DVB- Terrestrial).

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