25 July 2008

DVB-H broadcasts coming to Singapore on all 3 telcos M1, Starhub and Singtel

OCWorkbench reports that the three local telecommunications service providers M1, SingTel and StarHub, together with the national broadcaster MediaCorp, will jointly conduct a consumer mobile TV trial using Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld (DVB-H) technology next month.

The DVB-H platform delivers broadcast services to mobile devices, offering users superior picture quality and a marked improvement to their mobile TV experience.

Some 300 customers of the three telcos are expected to participate in this trial spanning over three months. Participation is by invitation only.

Trialists will be able to view six dedicated channels during the trial and enjoy a variety of television programmes

There will be a wide range of quality programming across different genres. Sports fans will enjoy comprehensive coverage of the Beijing Olympics on TV Mobile, as well as all the action from Barclays Premier League on StarHub's Football Channel.

Chinese viewers will be treated to Cantonese movies from Singapore’s first Cantonese movie channel - SingTel mio TV’s Mei Ah Movies Channel, as well as the simulcast of StarHub's TVBS News in August, and CTI in September. News maniacs can access the simulcast Channel News Asia for international news and CNBC for their financial updates. Trialists will also get to enjoy the quality documentaries from The History Channel by StarHub in October.

Selected programmes from Kids Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Channel 8 and Channel U will also be shown on the two other composite channels.

“The convergence of broadcast media and telecommunications technologies is ably demonstrated on the DVB-H platform and this trial with our business and consumer partners will help us bridge the vital human factor. We hope to better understand consumer preferences and behaviour that will enable us to define realistic service standards for the exciting new world of mobile TV,” said Neil Montefiore, Chief Executive Officer, M1.

“We are very pleased to be able to be involved in this project that heralds another step forward in entertainment on the go,” said Mr Quek Peck Leng, Executive Vice President, Consumer Group, SingTel. “Our mio TV on Mobile service enables customers to conveniently access mio TV content wherever they are, and DVB-H will allow even more features. We are also very pleased that our content partner Mei Ah has been selected as one of the channels that will be used during the trial.”

"Mobile TV is a relatively recent concept now that newer wireless technologies are able to deliver high quality transmissions. The DVB-H platform is one of the major platforms designed to optimise the delivery of broadcast content over mobile devices, and this trial is designed to gather feedback on user acceptance and interest in mobile TV viewing," Terry Clontz, CEO of StarHub said.

“MediaCorp pioneered DVB-H consumer trials in Singapore some 4 years ago. From our past experience, the availability of handsets is paramount to the service taking off. I am happy that our efforts to have all 3 Singapore telcos onboard the trial will offer better quality and wider choice of services to our customers and, at the same time, allow us to explore viable business models,” says Lucas Chow, CEO MediaCorp.

Participants of the trial will be using the Samsung P-960 handsets and the trial is also supported by technology partners, Alcatel-Lucent and Gemalto.

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