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Handhelds Media Television Hardware

Samsung Puts Satellite TV in Cell Phones 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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Samsung Puts Satellite TV in Cell Phones

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  • 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...
  • 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 on Saturday February 07, 2004 @06:23AM (#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...
  • 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@blu[ ] ['etu' in gap]> 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 []) 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 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. []
  • by bugbread ( 599172 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @07:44AM (#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.
  • 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?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:05AM (#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).
  • Use your windshield (Score:3, Interesting)

    by axxackall ( 579006 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:36AM (#8210984) Homepage Journal
    With this technology [] you can do it freehand.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 2.4GHz vs 2.6GHz (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 07, 2004 @10:27AM (#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
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eraserewind ( 446891 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @10:38AM (#8211350)
    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.

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