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Handhelds Media Television Hardware

Samsung Puts Satellite TV in Cell Phones 142

Posted by michael
from the tv-is-everywhere dept.
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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Samsung Puts Satellite TV in Cell Phones

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  • Oh lord... (Score:4, Funny)

    by DubNoBass303 (688547) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:18AM (#8210723) Homepage
    Wow! Now I can talk on my phone -and- watch tv while I drive! ...
  • 70 channels seems kindof low. shouldnt they be able to get more than cable tv?
    • Re:# of channels (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nick-less (307628) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:27AM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by 91degrees (207121) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:32AM (#8210760) Journal
      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.
    • stop whining. back in my day, we didn't even HAVE tv recievers in our cellphones. We had to play pong. PONG! IN BLACK AND WHITE! Kids today have it too easy. "Dad, my new 300nm laser won't cut through Jimmy's flesh" "Dad, why can't I have more than 70 TV channels on my cell phone?" *shakes head*
    • How many channels do you watch on a regular basis? 70? Also given the fact that this is a mobile device it's not likely going to be replacing the TV anytime soon, nor the hours that one spends at home watching that TV. 70 isn't going to be a problem, for now...
  • by silentbozo (542534) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:19AM (#8210726) Journal
    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...
    • 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 s
      • Uh, define "narrow slice of history". You would be more accurate to say that the nomadic way of life is a phase that a given society goes through until they discover that agriculture surpasses hunting and gathering as a way of sustaining a population. Once that occurs, then villages form, then cities. When a people realize that the land yields sustenance and wealth, some form of property rights take hold. Mostly those rights favor some kind of Big Man or hierarchy over the people who actually work the land,
    • by bugbread (599172) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @07:41AM (#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!
  • Satellite TV.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ForestGrump (644805)
    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 (Score:3, Informative)

    by skinfitz (564041) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:23AM (#8210736) Journal
    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.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Not true. You don't need a license for battery operated TVs in the UK, mobiles would come under this.
      • by skinfitz (564041)
        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 televisi
        • 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.
        • 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.
    • by korielgraculus (591914) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:31AM (#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.

      • by skinfitz (564041) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:34AM (#8210765) Journal
        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).
        • 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

      • 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 f
    • by DrXym (126579) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:46AM (#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.
      • 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
        • 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.

          • 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 r
          • 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? :)
        • 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.
      • 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 :)
      • 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
        • 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 :)
          • 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.
    • by skinfitz (564041) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:49AM (#8210797) Journal
      ...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.
    • by Threni (635302)
      > 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?
      • by skinfitz (564041) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @07:04AM (#8210836) Journal
        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]
        • by Threni (635302)
          > 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
        • Quoted from the site linked in the parent:

          "When I stopped my TV Licence on my empty house, they sent me letters literally every 4 weeks threatening me. It was horrible."

          You know, if we had TV licensing in the USA, it wouldn't be threatening letters we'd get, it would be lawsuits and raids by teams of law enforcement agent impersonators. And just think of the propganda: "336 TV show equivalents stolen per WEEK! Per CHANNEL! Per TELEVISION! And the criminal had THREE of them! That means 15,000 shows PIRA
      • 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
  • ARM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ByteSlicer (735276) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:23AM (#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... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    - 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...
  • 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.
  • by vargul (689529) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:26AM (#8210746) Journal
    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...
  • NEC already has this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WebTurtle (109015) <derek@COFFEEblue ... m minus caffeine> on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:31AM (#8210757) Homepage

    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.

  • by obey13 (731453) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:31AM (#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.
    • 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.
  • by Slashamatic (553801) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:34AM (#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.

    • 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.
  • Wait a while (Score:4, Informative)

    by nic barajas (750051) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:40AM (#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.
  • by agurk (193950) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:51AM (#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?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • If you must build a network of repeaters won't you effectively make this a groundbased and not satelite based service?

      The repeaters are probably installed in cities, where direct path to the satellites are often obscured by buildings and other structures. Once outside the city, the receiver will probably see the satellite more easily and not need any repeaters.

  • US market (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:54AM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jack Porter (310054) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:55AM (#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!
  • by SPYDER Web (717344) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:56AM (#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
  • ...until DirecTV sue everybody who bought one of these phones but didn't buy a subscription
  • PRON (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phreak03 (621876) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @07:01AM (#8210827) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • I declare! (Score:5, Funny)

    by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi&yahoo,com> on Saturday February 07, 2004 @07:13AM (#8210853) Homepage Journal
    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? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dtmos (447842) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @07:25AM (#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?

  • Now they need to put a full chess program into my cell phone! It will be embarassing, though, when it beats me at chess.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Aren't we slowly turning our Biosphere into a huge Magnetron and becoming a cooked society?
  • Uh..... okay (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) * on Saturday February 07, 2004 @07:44AM (#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?
    • 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].
    • a big SUV with a satellite TV conection is USEFUL??
    • You need to think about the market for this. Being able to watch TV on a phone - something so small you can hold it in your hand while being smashed from all directions as you commute to work on a train that has ten times more people on it than any American would think reasonable - is USEFUL.

      You won't see anything useful in the US for a while, though, so don't worry.

  • 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.
    • 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.
      • by pipingguy (566974) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @09:08AM (#8211037) Homepage
        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.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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).
  • by swb (14022) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @09:42AM (#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?
    • I really suspect the there is a huge future in enhanced vision products, but i honestly believe that it's going to come in the way of contact lenses. I read a story where someone has developed night-vision contacts. They're powered by blinking. How cool is that? There are innumeral uses for polarized lenses too.
  • Interesting... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by suwain_2 (260792) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @10:14AM (#8211239) Journal
    ...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... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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 :(
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by eraserewind (446891)
      They already exist. Usually where 3G services are available. The problems at the moment being that there is nobody to call, as not so many people have such handsets. The problems in the future are that videoconferences are stupid anyway, except for seeing your family abroad or some such.
      • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Informative)

        by dadman (576569)
        3G services offered by Hutchison in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong can offer 3G phone to/from NetMeeting. So there isn't exactly nobody to call :-)
  • The 3 tier model would be better for these mobile phones than the monolithic one. I want a phone that can connect to data, regardless of the datatype or content. Making the most reliable wireless broadband Internet connection, with redundant bands and even ISPs, is the best role for the phone itself. Give me another unit with the codecs, and another with the GUI (display and controls). If it's bundled into a microelectronic wonder that all fits in my pocket in one pod, that's great. But I don't want vertica
  • Battery Life? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MacGod (320762) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:08PM (#8215003)
    What would the battery life be on such a device. My cell phone (A Motorola v60g BTW) only JUST makes it through a single day on one battery at full charge, and that's for a black-and-white screen that's off half the time (when the phone is flipped closed). And I don't even talk on my phone too too much. For an often-on, long-viewing, satellite-receiving, full colour video phone, I can't imagine the battery life would even border on "acceptable".

    As a side note: I'm assuimg this phone has the typical 2" (max) screen. That's an awfully small screen to watch TV on. I wonder if there's really a demand for this (after all, one of the reasons Steve Jobs says there's no video iPods is because nobody wants to watch TV on a screen that small-a statement I would tend to concur with).

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