TV Service Comes to Sprint Cell Phones
November 14, 2003
Sprint, the cell phone provider, last week began offering real-time television service to its mobile customers. Featured on the service is programming from ABC News, CNBC, MSNBC, Discovery, and The Learning Channel.
Sprint’s new MobiTV service costs $9.99 a month in addition to the monthly fee of $15 that Sprint subscribers pay to use the Internet data connection on their mobile phones. The video quality is expected to be jerky because Sprint is displaying the continuous video stream at a rate of only one or two frames per second.
The content programs on most of the MobiTV channels will be identical to the actual programs airing during the same hour on the corresponding cable channels. There will, however, be a lag due to the time it takes to process and transmit the images to a wireless device.
As soon as next near, wireless technology is expected to improve enough to provide full-motion streaming video and some handset makers are also trying to bring video to cell phones without the cellular network. Samsung, for example, is due to introduce a cell phone with a TV tuner inside that can pick up local television channels over the broadcast airwaves.
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