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Samsung Puts Satellite TV in Cell Phones

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the tv-is-everywhere dept.

Handhelds 142

prostoalex writes "Japanese subscribers will be able to get 70 television channels with a new cell phone, currently developed and tested by Samsung. Using an ARM microprocessor, Samsung makes it possible to receive satellite TV transmissions in 2.6 GHz range. No dish is required, however, for clarity of the signal the company is currently installing a network of repeaters. This could substantially increase the number of satellite TV subscribers, which in the United States is still a distant second to cable television."

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X Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210719)

X Post

Oh lord... (4, Funny)

DubNoBass303 (688547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210723)

Wow! Now I can talk on my phone -and- watch tv while I drive! ...

Re:Oh lord... (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210817)

You could connect a Tivo to the phone, so you can pause the TV while talking or driving.

Re:Oh lord... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210876)

Actually you could probably do so quite comfortably and safely with no problems. Most people have the ability to be a little bit distracted while driving and not crash or otherwise be a danger to other road users, it's just a small minority who can't figure out that you should occasionally skip your eyes onto the road if you're doing something else

Unfortunately that minority goes a long way to being responsible for rediculous laws related to cell phone use while driving.

It's always the moronic few who make it worse for everyone else

Re:Oh lord... (0, Troll)

diersing (679767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211055)

Those moronic few have caused enough headaches for several states/cities to make driving & talking on a cell phone ILLEGAL. Do you really think those communities are going to allow you watch TV and drive?

I was once ticketed for having headphones on even though I had not committed any traffic/moving violations.

Re:Oh lord... (1)

cscx (541332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210881)

Just ask Ludacris... "TV in the middle of my steering wheel"

You think I'm joking? [vh1.com]

Re:Oh lord... (3, Informative)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210893)


No, you can do that already with the NEC V601N [vodafone.jp] . The difference is, the V601N just picks up normal VHF / UHF stations, not satellite.

Use your windshield (2, Interesting)

axxackall (579006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210984)

With this technology [emedialive.com] you can do it freehand.

# of channels (1)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210725)

70 channels seems kindof low. shouldnt they be able to get more than cable tv?

Re:# of channels (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210733)

depends....

My local cable tv advertises over 200 channels... only 20-30 are of any use... {with about 20-30 remaining being "Local Access" )

~GoAT~

Re:# of channels (4, Insightful)

nick-less (307628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210748)

70 channels seems kindof low. shouldnt they be able to get more than cable tv?

thats no technical problem, I've got around 1000 channels using digital satellite tv, but about 70 percent are encrypted, 20 percent are in a foreign language and the rest is crap.

Re:# of channels (4, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210760)

I gather it's a lower frequency than satellite. I think this means fewer channels available.

Since only a handful of channels account for most viewing, 70 should be more than adeqaute. The portability should compensate for fewer channels.

Re:# of channels (1)

nr (27070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210954)

Yes,I think newer sats use the 10 GHz band. But then you need a dish to receive the signal.

As if pedestrians didn't have enough problems... (4, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210726)

Now instead of getting run over by somebody yakking on their cell phone, pedestrians can now get run over by people watching TV on their cell phones...

Humor aside, it's kind of weird to see people take more and more steps into a kind of nomadic existence - cellphones displacing landlines, PDAs and notebooks displacing desktops, huge-ass SUVs replacing small studio apartments...

MOD PARENT DOWN! Stole my comment!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210734)

I guess it's flattering to be greeted by your own words when you click on a story, but it doesn't change the fact that this person, silentbozo, completely plagiarized what I wrote a few months back on another cell phone/TV. He did go through the effort of changing my "chatting" to his "yakking", but I'm not sure why he bothered ...

I wish I could prove this, but I can't list any comments beyond my last 24. Honestly, why would I accuse someone I don't know of plagiarism if it weren't true?

Shame on you, Mr. silentbozo ...

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN! Stole my comment!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210811)

Honestly, why would I accuse someone I don't know of plagiarism if it weren't true?

Because you're a troll?

Re:As if pedestrians didn't have enough problems.. (1, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210830)

Humor aside, it's kind of weird to see people take more and more steps into a kind of nomadic existence. . .

In other words, returning to a more normal, although more technolgical, state of human existence.

Yes, I'm even choosing to take your joke seriously. My 75 year old aunt sold her grand victiorian mansion a few years ago and bought an RV. She now says she'll never live in a house again and wonders why anyone does.

Mobility is humanity. It's only weird to you because you grew up in the narrow little slice of history where people were tied to piles of cinderblock by, rather short, electrical umbilical cords.

KFG

Re:As if pedestrians didn't have enough problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210837)

Gipsy scum!

Re:As if pedestrians didn't have enough problems.. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210855)

Of course there have also been times when men have been tied to servitude, xenophobia and other forms of bigotry and blind hatred.

"The old days are o'er there's none can deny
The days of the traveler's over
There's nowhere to go and there's nowhere to bide
So fareweel to the life o' the rover

Goodbye to the tent and the old caravan
The tinker, the tailor, the travling man
And goodbye to the thirty foot trailer."

Perhaps these new technologies will give the rover a bit of a leg up over the squatter scum again.

KFG

Re:As if pedestrians didn't have enough problems.. (4, Insightful)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210899)


Remember we're talking Japan, not America. Very low car to pedestrian ratio, and very low incidence of huge-ass SUVs.

Your point stands, but I doubt this will be as bad as you seem to be inclined to believe. In the US I suspect it would be a nightmare...of steel and blood!

Re:As if pedestrians didn't have enough problems.. (1)

eraserewind (446891) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211295)

Actually, you'd be surprised at the number of huge SUVs you see as you walk around Tokyo. Of course there are plenty of tiny Japanese cars too, but SUVs are by no means rare.

Cell phones? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210728)

More like SMELL phones! Am I right, folks??

Satellite TV.... (2, Insightful)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210730)

Does this have any relation to satellite phone?
Sure you can get service when your in the middle of nowhere...but inside a building, you can't get service because of a roof over you.

-Grump

UK TV License Nazis (3, Informative)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210736)

If this ever makes it to the UK, due to the TV Licensing Nazis - if, say, every member of a household had one of these phones and used them while out of the house, a seperate TV license costing around $160 a year would be needed for each phone.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210751)

Not true. You don't need a license for battery operated TVs in the UK, mobiles would come under this.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (2, Informative)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210758)

Not true. You don't need a license for battery operated TVs in the UK, mobiles would come under this.

You are mistaken. The letter of the law is

"If you use or install television receiving equipment to receive or record television programme services you are required by law to have a valid TV Licence."

This covers ANY and ALL equipment capable of receiving television signals that originate from the UK. This includes ANY form of TV receiver including computer graphics cards and VCR's.

If battery televisions were exempt, do you not think that people would simply purchase a battery receiver and plug it into a larger monitor?

Re:UK TV License Nazis (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210983)

Apparently there's a clause in EU law which prohibits a government from taxing information dissemination (or something similar). It's not yet known whether this actually covers the TV license, since there has not yet been a test case. Someone I know quoted this passage at the TV license people when they were asked to renew, and never heard from them again. It seems that they are not very keen to bring a test case, since if they lose it would mean that no one would pay a TV license again.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

Uber Banker (655221) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210993)

Almost... but here is one for all the students (possibly the grandparent confusion)

"A TV set powered by its own internal batteries - a pocket sized TV for example - may be covered by a licence at your parents' address." from here [tv-l.co.uk] .

I may have 3 TVs in my house, but only need one licence, similarly I don't need a seperate licence for a pocket TV as long as I have one for my home address, but as you say I can't only have a battery operated TV.

Re:UK TV License Nazis .... Not Quite (5, Informative)

korielgraculus (591914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210756)

Taken straight from TV licensing web site:

** A TV set powered by its own internal batteries - a pocket sized TV for example - may be covered by a licence at your home address.

Re:UK TV License Nazis .... Not Quite (4, Informative)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210765)

aken straight from TV licensing web site:

** A TV set powered by its own internal batteries - a pocket sized TV for example - may be covered by a licence at your home address.


That is correct. Notice the use of the word "may". The "may" would apply IF no other TV was being used in your house while you were using the portable. This is why it is ok to have a (perhaps battery operated) TV in a holiday caravan, so long as your TV back home is not being used. It's like seat licensing for software.

If a TV receiving phone were used out of the house while the home TV were in use, you could be fined. (Catching you is another matter entirely however).

Re:UK TV License Nazis .... Not Quite (1)

DgWatters0 (46011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210957)

If a TV receiving phone were used out of the house while the home TV were in use, you could be fined.

I doubt it, the tv license covers a household of televisions. You pay for one license if the every member of the household all have their own TVs and watch them at the same time, so I don't see why it would be different this way. Especially if it's battery operated.

(Catching you is another matter entirely however).

Well that would be even easier - if you were outside using it they wouldn't need a warrant to get in your house to catch you!

Re:UK TV License Nazis .... Not Quite (1)

Angus Prune (660032) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211100)

But I can have 5 TVs on at once at home
**runs round house**
infact i do have 5 TVs on now.

So, at the moment I am covered by my TV liscence but if I were to turn on a portable TV it would suddenly be illegal?


A bit of a tanjent - but there are some interesting laws to do with lodgers. If you have a lock on your door you need your own TV liscence. Now, I know some people who still live with their parents (the 18 year old kind not the 44 year old virgin kind) who have locks on their doors.

They are renewing the BBCs charter in the next couple of years. Instead of trying to change the way the BBC works perhaps they should update the TV liscence to reflect the technology we currently and may soon have at our disposal.

This could include phones, PDAs, Webcasting, computers both roaming and tethered, Cars, and god knows what else.

Re:UK TV License Nazis .... Not Quite (0)

MukiMuki (692124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211262)

$160 a year so you get your ads in well-produced and entertaining 15-mintue blocks after two hours of NOTHING instead of cheaply shot headache inducing 5-minute blocks every ten minutes? STFU.

Re:Why stop at patenting cookies? (1)

wfberg (24378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211235)

Interestingly, the subject line is still correct. The TV license flies in the face of the European Treaty on Human and Political Rights; it contains an article on the right to receive signals; this was put in specifically because the Nazis required you to have a license to operate a radio receiver, so they could be sure only Nazis had radios, and not the sort of people who would listen to foreign broadcasts (broadcasts, incidentally, by the British).

This is one of the reasons why The Netherlands switched from a license fee to just paying the public channels out of taxes, apart from the obvious cost of enforcing licenses.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (3, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210787)

No it wouldn't, because the TV licence doesn't cover devices solely operated by batteries (which I presume would cover phones if the charger disabled TV service). But I wouldn't worry, because Sky (satellite) would charge you 300 to watch their stations through it and inflict as much advertising on to you as UK broadcast standards permit.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210818)

No it wouldn't, because the TV licence doesn't cover devices solely operated by batteries (which I presume would cover phones if the charger disabled TV service). But I wouldn't worry, because Sky (satellite) would charge you 300 to watch their stations through it and inflict as much advertising on to you as UK broadcast standards permit.

You are mistaken, it covers any and all equipment capable of receivinga signal. With satellite TV it's just worse because you have to buy a TV license on top of the sat fee even if you dont watch terrestrial.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210862)

I don't agree. I was slightly wrong in saying no licence is required - it is covered by your main household licence no matter where the device is situated. Presumably most people have a TV anyway. But in any case a phone could be programmed to only pick up satellite channels and would therefore be completely exempt.


As for people who claim they never watch terrestrial, or listen to BBC radio, or browse the BBC news website or anything else the licence funds - bullshit.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210879)

I don't agree. I was slightly wrong in saying no licence is required - it is covered by your main household licence no matter where the device is situated. Presumably most people have a TV anyway. But in any case a phone could be programmed to only pick up satellite channels and would therefore be completely exempt.

You might think that, but you are mistaken. Yes a home license would cover the phone, so long as the home TV were not used at the same time while the phone were out of the house. As for only receiving satellite, the license fee covers any device that is used to receive TV programme services that originate in the UK. If you received satellite broadcasts that that originated outside of the UK and only those broadcasts, then you do not need a license.

As for people who claim they never watch terrestrial, or listen to BBC radio, or browse the BBC news website or anything else the licence funds - bullshit.


Firstly the license only covers TV receiving equipment. Although it pays for the website and radio, it is not legally required (read: cannot be enforced effectively).

I really really do not watch TV at home. I may occasionally glance at a screen in a pub or something or perhaps watch a film on TV at my parents home at Commercemas but that's about it. Believe what you like, it doesn't change the truth.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

Atryn (528846) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211146)

As for people who claim they never watch terrestrial, or listen to BBC radio, or browse the BBC news website or anything else the licence funds - bullshit.
I love this system. I often watch things from BBC TV, listen to BBC Radio and/or visit the BBC website. But since I am not British I don't pay anything!

Now, what other services might Britain provide for free to the rest of us? :)

Re:UK TV License Nazis - slight correction (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210922)

I must correct my parent post - the license covers the use of any and all equipment capable of receiving TV signals. It is not illegal to merely own TV receiving equipment, only to use it to receive TV programme services that originate from within the UK.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210933)

and inflict as much advertising on to you as UK broadcast standards permit

*and* the lowest possible bandwidth they can get away with, *and* those stupidly huge and annoying logos in the corner - some of which MOVE!

Not to mention that bloody 'Press Red' crap. If I wanted to browse a slow poorly made up text system I'd use the internet on a 33.6k!!! I'm watching TV because I want to *watch television*. grrrr!

Sorry .. just had to get that of my chest :)

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

fiddlesticks (457600) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210790)

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210807)

not true

'The TV Licence for your main address will, however, automatically cover any TV used in a touring caravan, vehicle or boat, or any televisions operated by their own internal batteries.'


I refer you to the paragraph directly above the one you posted on the TV Licecing website:

Mobile homes and caravans [tv-l.co.uk]
If you or any other person uses a TV in your static caravan or mobile home and another is being used in your main home at the same time, you'll need a separate TV Licence.

However, if a TV isn't being used in your static caravan or mobile home at the same time as in your home, you don't need a separate TV Licence. In which case you'll just need to complete a declaration form (see below).

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

fiddlesticks (457600) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210896)

back and forth, like tennis :)

the important bit of the quote is 'any televisions operated by their own internal batteries'

basically, one licence covers all TVs *in* that property, all TVs used at a temporary location (say, on a caravan holiday) by members of that property if they're not *in* that property and *all* mobile TVs without mains power

I assume your cell-with-sat-receiver has some sort of battery power, god knows about the battery life though :)

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210926)

Yes mobile TVs as they cannot be considered part of a property.

Your home license would cover you for a portable battery TV, but if you start using it say as a student in a dorm, and your parents use their TV at home, you are out of license.

And people say Microsoft licensing is bad.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (3, Informative)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210797)

...actually my parent post is not strictly accurate. The cost of a UK license is 121UKP a year which right now is $221.83, not $160 as originally stated.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210822)

> due to the TV Licensing Nazis

Doesn't the UK have better TV than the US though? And not just TV - later today Radio3 will be broadcasting a recording of a world premiere performance of an Elliot Carter piece commissioned by the BBC. Any American TV stations commissioned any contemporary classical music since CBS commissioned Stravinsky to write The Flood?

Re:UK TV License Nazis (3, Interesting)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210836)

Doesn't the UK have better TV than the US though?

Having spent some time in the US I'd say "probably" but I don't know right now as I don't watch TV and have not done for around 5 years now.

I have no problem with paying for services if they are worthwhile. My personal issue with them is that they simply don't believe you when you say you don't watch TV. I legally do not need a TV License however I get constantly bombarded with threatening sounding letters and people coming to the house "for a look around".

Check out the website of this guy for examples of how the TV-L-Nazis treat we non-conformists. [marmalade.net]

Re:UK TV License Nazis (2, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210967)

> My personal issue with them is that they simply don't believe you when you say you
> don't watch TV. I legally do not need a TV License however I get constantly bombarded
> with threatening sounding letters and people coming to the house "for a look around".

You don't need a tv license, and you don't need to let them in. You don't even need to let the police in unless they have a search warrant. You might want to type up a little note explaining your rights and send it back with whatever crap they send you when they're hassling you!

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210877)

Well as standard we have 5 'terrestrial' channels, and we are also now entitled to pick up an addition 15 or so channels over a digital TV system called freeview.

To pick up freeview all you need to do is go pick up a box from the local electrical / hi-fi kinda places - they cost anywhere from $70 - $200 depending on the brand name you want but they all do the same kind of thing.

As for quality of TV its hard to say.. the one advantage is that the BBC channels (which the licensing cost goes towards) have no commercials.. i'm sure thats something that most American TV viewers are not used to, but the only commercials you get on the BBC channels are quick adverts for programmes they will be having in the future. But sometimes it can just be credits from one show, and then a guy saying "And now on BBC1, the 6 o clock news with Joe Bloggs" and off you go into the next show.

So it depends on how you look at it I guess :)

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210981)

Yeah, I have freeview. That's what I'm going to tape the Carter piece off.

Re:UK TV License Nazis (1)

Ben Hutchings (4651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211109)

Freeview boxes don't "all do the same thing". The more expensive ones have such features as web and email access, media file playing (from memory cards or over the Internet), dual tuners (for recording and viewing different channels) or even a PVR.

ARM (3, Interesting)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210738)

I doubt it will be an ARM microprocessor. The article only mentions an ARM core, so it will probably be a Samsung mpu with an ARM core. In the last few years, Samsung came out with some impressive ARM-based microprocessors.

How long before... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210739)

- Cell phones "add-on" sizes get standardized,
- You can buy a cell phone model with n = 0,1,2,3 feature slots,
- You choose your n features: color screen, GPS, Satellite TV, 802.11, Super Mario Bros, won't-go-unnoticed-vibrations, fax, printer, serial port, folded parachute...

Re:How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211000)

Probably never. In order to make a small, light, sturdy phone with long battery life you really need to integrate pretty much everything into 2-3 chips. The connectors and mechanics for these "slots" would be far too bulky and unreliable.

US adoption (1)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210742)

What changes would be needed to get it working in the US, and popular? Would a different band need to be used for satelite transmissions? This would be neat if the kinks are worked out to make it global.

what not in a cell phone?! (3, Interesting)

vargul (689529) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210746)

i mean that is really bad. it is already annoying having cell phones packed with not wanted, disturbing, useless functions and features when almost nothing useful like calendars, proper os which can run downloaded or even selfwritten scripts/programs and so on is implemented.

yet an other useful tool made by modern technology turned into bussiness driven marchandise crap...

Re:what not in a cell phone?! (0)

kaosrules (750049) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210776)

Probably, Cellphone manufacturers read the christmas wish list of some Engineer and mistook them to be planned future enhancements. According to unofficial sources these are the future enhancements to cell phone, so expect them by this year end : 1. Attached Light Saber ( careful while talking to someone). This phone might be used in Star wars 3 [ Lucas smiles, so does yoda !! ] 2. Toothbrush [ that wil be rarely used ] 3. Hammer 4. Thermometer ( put the cell phone in your mouth, u can see the temperature displayed in the monitor ) Heard that Madam Jackson has ordered for a different cellphone, anyguesses what that contains??

Re:what not in a cell phone?! (1)

vargul (689529) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210874)

if i only had the slashdot moderating tool on my phone, i would give u some extra funny modifier.

Re:what not in a cell phone?! (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210992)

The one feature I would like added to my phone is the ability to turn off the phone part. I quite often use the phone to control presentations via Bluetooth, and just have to hope that no one phones me while I'm doing so.

NEC already has this (4, Interesting)

WebTurtle (109015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210757)

In Japan, Vodafone sells a NEC phone that has a built-in TV tuner. Go to Vodafone's Japanese site (English link [vodafone.jp] ) to check it out (and their other awesome models).

The advertisements for this phone show two businessmen standing on the train platform. One of them is using an older DoCoMo style phone, and is standing alone on the right side of the picture. On the left side of the picture stands a younger businessman with one of the NEC TV phones: he is surrounded by lots of people peering over his shoulder at the phone. He has a huge grin on his face. The older man on the right side of the picture is looking sad and alone as he holds his phone out in front of him and looks enviously over at the younger man.

No, NEC does not have this yet. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210768)

NEC's model can receive terrestrial VHF TV transmisions.

Samsung's model can receive satellite television.

There is an enormous difference.

Re:No, NEC does not have this yet. (2, Interesting)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210902)

True, but I think the parent is responding to the general trend in the threads here of talking about the TVness of the phone, as opposed to the satelliteness of the phone. My guess is just that very few Slashdot users know that there is already a TV phone in Japan, and that as such it's the satellite bit that's news, not the TV bit.

Correct (1)

WebTurtle (109015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211225)

Yes, my point is that the TVness of the phone is not new because Vodafone has it already. What Samsung is developing will be yet another TV phone, only this time it will receive satellite broadcasting. The satelliteness of the phone is news.

Here in Tokyo, we use our mobile phones all the time to send and receive email and play video games, especially while riding the train. The three most common things to see on the train: people sleeping, people reading, and people typing on their phones.

Watching TV on your phone is a logical next step. The only problem being the size of the screen. It's hard to watch something that small for a long period of time. However, for the short period of time most people will want to watch it (say the 10 or 20 minutes between Nishi-Nippori and Ikebukuro), it is a perfect distraction.

Consumption of media in Japan is huge. It is a highly visual culture. Look out of any window in a metropolitan area and you will see billboards and neon in any direction. The stations and trains are no different: advertisements are plastered not only to the sides above the seats, but hang from the ceiling inside the train. Some of the trains on the Yamanote line have video screens placed in the cars which show brief videos of the weather and commercials.

Having your own TV reception in the phone at least allows those people addicted to visual stimuli to choose their own poison.

What will be truly interesting is how long before these TV phone models are offered for free to new subscribers. Note: each year, the previous year's models are given away for anywhere from 0 to 100 Yen to new subscribers (or those who are willing to change their phone numbers). 100 yen = $0.97

Endless accessories........ (3, Insightful)

obey13 (731453) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210759)

So now I can get TV on my phone, along with a PDA, a game console, and a camera, etc...... But they still can't make a simple phone that just calls people and has a phone book. Super.

Re:Endless accessories........ (1)

SupaMegaBuffalo (717226) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210918)

But they still can't make a simple phone that just calls people and has a phone book.

Unfortunately that's pretty much all my current phone has (well, and SMS). What i wouldn't give to have at least one simple game in it for those long train rides.

installing a network of repeaters. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210763)

installing a network of cancer.

How big is the generator set? (2, Interesting)

Slashamatic (553801) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210764)

One of the issues before with minaturised TVs (for example, that wrist watch one) is the amount of power they consume. The processor in a mobile phone spends much of its time sleeping which is why you can get those obscenely long standby times.

The small pocket TVs that you can get from the likes of Casio are much larger than a mobile phone and can take larger cells.

Re:How big is the generator set? (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210907)

True, but NEC already has a terrestrial TV phone, which is exactly the same size and weight as a regular phone. The battery is hell when you watch TV, but the idea is you just carry the power plug if you want to watch TV.

I do the same for my regular Sharp phone, as they use the same plug types for each model, and this is my second Sharp. One plug stays at home connected to the cradle, and the other plug is in my backpack.

Donald Duck (0, Troll)

DonaldDuckBigO (749237) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210774)

Donald Duck is going to have a SCREAMING ORGASM when he gets ahold of one of these. Especially if he can use it to watch Daisy Duck pr0n.

Wait a while (4, Informative)

nic barajas (750051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210777)

A vital step towards realizing the service -- the successful launch of the satellite that will carry the programming -- has yet to be made.

Looks like we won't be seeing this for a few years, at least.

Network of repeaters (5, Insightful)

agurk (193950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210800)

If you must build a network of repeaters won't you effectively make this a groundbased and not satelite based service?

The article was not clear if it was possible to build such a network without these ground repeaters.

Most ground based transmission is already based on satelite feed so what is new?

Re:Network of repeaters (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210937)

The repeaters are (very obviously) only for certain dead-spots, so that your signal doesn't break-up when you are going through a tunnel, are surrounded by tall buildings, etc.

Perhaps it is similar to DAB (1)

XNormal (8617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211115)

The OFDM modulation scheme for DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) can transmit multiple copies of the same signal on the same channel and a receiver can use the sum of all transmissions to get the best reception.

This lets you, for example. receive the DAB signal in your car where there is a line-of-sight to the satellite and when you enter a city with its obscuring buildings the satellite signal is augmented by a local repeater that receives the satellite signal and then retransmits it on the same frequency.

only thing not yet invented (0)

dutch_admin (745349) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210804)

is a home-theatre-set with a phone built in

YADA YADA (-1, Troll)

wifitek (675392) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210806)

YAD YAD YAD

US market (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210808)

This could substantially increase the number of satellite TV subscribers, which in the United States is still a distant second to cable television.

In the US, they'll market the phone with a TV socket and extension cords.

Here in Korea (4, Interesting)

Jack Porter (310054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210809)

You can already watch any cable TV channel on your cell phone, but it's done in-network and not receiving directly from the satelite like this Japanese system.

Here the telco streams it to your phone over 3G. The advantage is that it works anywhere there's network coverage - which is everywhere including the entire Seoul subway network (tunnels, trains, everywhere).

The disadvantage is that you pay through the nose for the packets!

I thought the point of going out was not watching (5, Insightful)

SPYDER Web (717344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210810)

maybe I am wrong but don't we leave the house so we can do things other than watch TV...or is this a substitue for doing work at work or when your favorite show is on and you have to pick up the kids so now you can do both? Here's a sidenote to think about: Cellphones use basicly 1 sense and thats hearing which is an important sense but you do have sight so you can concentrate on other things like walking or driving (people argue with this one but truck drivers have been talking on CBs for many years now and they seem ok...maybe not), basicly do whatever. But TVs use both Sight and Hearing...what are you gonna use to walk down the street, smell? Maybe when the Segway takes over for using our legs for walking and they put in cruise control than we will be ready for Mobile TV

Re:I thought the point of going out was not watchi (1)

MrRTFM (740877) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210913)

true, but it would be pretty good for the train/bus trip to and from work.

Re:I thought the point of going out was not watchi (4, Insightful)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210914)

One word answer for you:

Trains

You have to remember that we're talking about Japan, where your entire commute consists of just sitting there, reading a book, or, if you're out of reading materials, slowly going mad.

This will be great... (1)

Michael Hunt (585391) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210821)

...until DirecTV sue everybody who bought one of these phones but didn't buy a subscription

PRON (5, Insightful)

phreak03 (621876) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210827)

once again, pron channels will be the most watched thing.. lets be honest Porn is the greatest driver of technology anywhere (VHS, Internet, DVD) ect.

Re:PRON (0, Offtopic)

HawkingMattress (588824) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211148)

lets be honest Porn is the greatest driver of technology anywhere (VHS, Internet, DVD) ect.

Yeah, and let's not forget that's why we went to the moon. NASA engineers received a signal from the moon wich looked like a fantastic pron movie, of a quality unknown to mankind.
So they quicky launched a spacecraft with a few astronauts, and lots of condoms to see how hot those lunar babes were. Only to find out after making a little step on the moon that russians went there before, and installed a pron emiter directed on cap canaveral just to laugh at them. So, they quicky swapped the emiter with an american flag, said hello to the camera and went home with empty hands and fully fuelled balls.

I declare! (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210853)

I just patented the mobile Tivo!

I'm just gonna sit back in my nice recliner here, eat this cheeseburger and watch mobile phone TV 'till the checks start rolling in...what the? Am I moving? HOLY CR@#kjl3.@!.*

Satellite design? (4, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210873)

The handset design is one thing, but I'd really like to see the design of the satellite.

Since the article discusses the use of a single satellite, for use by Korea and Japan only, one concludes that the satellite must be in geosynchronous orbit (otherwise there would be service outages as it passed behind the earth). That puts it 22,300 miles up (in the Clarke Belt [spacetoday.org] ).

Since the Clarke Belt is so far away, a combination of

high transmitter power in the satellite,

good sensitivity (low noise figure) in the receiver back on Earth, and

high antenna gain at both transmitter and receiver

are typically used to make the link work. Modern satellite television (e.g., DirecTV) uses a relatively high frequency of operation (12 GHz) so that high antenna gain can be achieved in a physically small (i.e., less than two foot diameter) package. However, the article says that the proposed system operates at 2.6 GHz. This would seriously kill any hope of significant antenna gain at the receiver, even if one could design a gain antenna that could track a satellite in a mobile, handheld system.

Said another way, in the DirecTV system, the typical Earthside antenna [lashen.com] has a gain of about 33.5 dBi. The handheld antenna gain will be doing well to reach 0 dBi. Since the DirecTV receiver has a noise figure of only 1 dB, no receiver sensitivity improvement is possible there. The only way to get back the 33.5 dB of link margin is to either increase the satellite's antenna gain by an additional 33.5 dB (which would make it impractically large, especially given the low frequency of operation, and give it a very small footprint on the Earth's surface) or increase the transmitter power by 33.5 dB (or 2239x).

How is the system to work?? Does anyone have a link margin calculation for this system?

Re:Satellite design? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211001)

repeaters on the cell towers

Excellent! (1)

ztwilight (549428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210883)

Now they need to put a full chess program into my cell phone! It will be embarassing, though, when it beats me at chess.

Living in a Magnetron! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210897)

Aren't we slowly turning our Biosphere into a huge Magnetron and becoming a cooked society?

Uh..... okay (4, Interesting)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210905)

I dreamed of the day when I could watch Satellite TV in all it's glory on a small LCD display

Instead of putting it on cellphones, why don't they focus on a consumer-price oriented portable DVD player with, let's say, a satellite TV reciever on it? I love DirecTV and, if a device like this was affordable (Considering.. i'm thinking around $500) better yet... when's the DirecTV Car satellite coming? Big SUVs with CNN playing in the back... ahh

Technology is great.... but can't they actually come up with something USEFUL instead of trying to sell on the 'Ohhh, ahhh' factor?

Re:Uh..... okay (1)

mjh (57755) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211155)

Ok, well it isn't $500, but you can do exactly what you're talking about today, with this [starkelectronic.com] or one of these [kvh.com] .

Samsung Puts Satellite TV in Cell Phones (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210912)

Why not? If it causes more consumers to buy Samsung products, where's the problem?

Oh yeah, the sheep issue...

More and more, we are seeing that those who are not on a leash from their masters eschew (sorry, but that was the best word) ever-connectivity.

Re:Samsung Puts Satellite TV in Cell Phones (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8210919)

The sheep issue?

You mean Japanese won't be able to sleep on the trains because they'll be watching TV?

Sorry, I'm being flippant. I realize your post is somehow about conformity, but I just don't get what you're driving at.

Re:Samsung Puts Satellite TV in Cell Phones (3, Insightful)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211037)

Sorry, I'm being flippant. I realize your post is somehow about conformity, but I just don't get what you're driving at.

Oh, no, MY apology is needed. It's just that 95% of all cell phone conversations most people overhear in public tend to be the type that illustrates that the speaker has nothing better to do than speak at it or use it as a security blanket.

My cell phone is now inactive, but when I used it I would move away from prying ears, not shout "I have a cell phone" to everyone within earshot, thus confirming my insecurities. Or worse, "Look at me! I'm important, I have a cellphone". Yeah, I had one of those original 10 pound Mitsubishi's and service back when cell phones were new and cool.

Forget TV, I want an AM radio (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8210936)

I'm not up on cell phones, so maybe you can tell me that such a thing already exists.

I want a stupid simple AM radio in my cell phone, so that in case of blackouts, terrorist attacks, transportation shutdowns, or just huge snowstorms, I can listen to the news. (Yes, I live in a large city where I've experienced all these things in the past five years).

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211076)

since all modern cellphones have fast processors + hi speed data + RF rx and tx capabilities + colour screen + sometimes a camera too, receiving tv channels via a digital tunnel through the usual repeaters and/or making real video conferencing shouldn't be news at all.

One thing I'm pretty sure of is that service will be marketed as the last tech marvel and will cost an huge amount of money to the users.
Am I wrong or cellphones are proportionally the most expensive and less advanced (I mean the services, not the platform) piece of technology in use today?

Where are we at with video goggles? (2, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211126)

Have those things improved at all? Is there any viable new video goggle/glasses technology on the horizon? The problem with so many small devices capable of doing video or even more traditional computer-based work is the tiny screens, or the companion problem, the requirement for a larger screen making the overall device too big for easy portability.

Even on an airplane where lugging my laptop is an option, it's a problem. If I'm in a non-emergency row coach seat, I have to hold my laptop with the bottom tipped up towards me so I can hold the screen at a decent viewing angle. It gets worse if the person in front of me decides to lean their seat all the way back; I end up with my laptop essentially rotated 90 degrees away from me.

It will be a huge leap forward for portable video and computing when we can get large displays without needing even the relatively small space of an airline seat. I know that the previous (current?) iterations of video goggles kind of sucked; too big, too power intensive, too hard on the eyes, whatever. Anything getting better?

Interesting... (2, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 10 years ago | (#8211239)

...this idea might at first sound retarded (who'd want to watch TV on their cell phone?), but it's actually something I thought of over a year ago as something that would be a really novel feature, especially for the type of people who find themselves sitting around waiting for extended periods playing games. (For examples, teens who can't yet drive waiting for a ride.)

I'm eager to see the next step: we can now receive TV, and we can now transmit pictures. I'm waiting for the phone that has a built-in camera on the side of the phone you put to your face, so you can hold it at arms length and have a real-time videoconference with someone. It would take a good deal of bandwidth, but it'd be pretty neat to be able to have a videoconference with anyone you could talk to on a cell phone.

Re:Interesting... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211316)

Already available in Europe. I don't know what chipsets the current phones are using but I have a devkit on my desk for a vector chipset capable of 2000Mip at 50mW power consumption. It handles realtime bidirectional MPEG4 rather easily and will be showing up in phones soon.

Too NDA'd to give more details :(

2.4GHz vs 2.6GHz (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8211293)

"(...)Samsung makes it possible to receive satellite TV transmissions in 2.6 GHz range.(...) for clarity of the signal the company is currently installing a network of repeaters."

I wonder if this can affect the japanese wireless comunity, since the 802.11b/g protocol runs on the 2.4-2.5GHz freq. range
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