DMB operator TU Media Corp starts mobile TV service trial

MUMBAI: Watching television on mobile phones through satellite while travelling in a car or a train. That is what Korean digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) operator TU Media Corp is looking to achieve. It has started a trial mobile television service through satellite. Samsung Electronics made a related statement saying that it will launch the first DMB mobile phone in Korea.

Media reports state that the advantage of DMB is its versatility. Through a DMB service, viewers can watch video clips and listen to radio programmes transmitted via satellite to mobile phones, PDAs, or car monitors.

TU Media is trying out nine out of a total of 35 DMB channels. There are three video channels - YTN news, CJ Media??s M-net, and a drama channel. There are also six audio channels playing the latest Korean pop, US pop, Korean oldies, American oldies, chart toppers, and Jazz & World.

The company issued a staement saying that during the test run, it will make sure that the machines and system operate smoothly, and find out the most common places and time periods for customers to use the service. In accordance with Korea Broadcasting Commission regulations and policies, TU Media will roll out the full-scale service in May.

Customers of SK Telecom which claims to be Korea's largest mobile operator, can access the television services after purchasing Samsung.'s new SCH-B100 mobile phone. This features a 2.2-inch liquid-crystal display and a battery capable of providing more than two hours of viewing time.

The challenge that TU Media will face is that its satellite-based mobile television services is a concept being done for the first time. So there are no past experiences to learn from.

For its commercial service, TU Media plans to provide 14 video and 24 audio channels with a data channel scheduled for release next year. The company has completed building its central broadcast center and installed 4,800 gap-fillers across Korea last year. Reports indicate that it plans to invest 705 $667 million over the next five years to develop mobile content and expand programme production facilities.

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