Telegent, Arima step toward convergence with integration of mobile TV, SMS

For the SMS generation, texting while watching is a perfect marriage

Taiwanese handset manufacturer Arima Communications has integrated Telegent Systems’ analog mobile TV technology in its free-to-air TV handset, allowing customers to send and receive SMS messages while watching free-to-air TV. Arima’s SMS-TV automatically scales the TV window to accommodate SMS messages and supports different input methods such as T9 predictive text technology as well as multiple languages.

A 2008 Parks Associates survey revealed that 25 percent of 18-24-year-old consumers want to chat while watching TV. “Text messaging is one of the top five most appealing features on a handset,” said John Barrett, Parks Associates director of research. “Integrating SMS with mobile TV enables a TV viewing experience that young consumers are already very familiar with.”

For fans of participation TV programs, SMS-TV is an easy a way to take the interactive experience mobile. For operators, Arima’s SMS-TV opens the door for generating incremental data traffic revenue.

"Free-to-air handsets are extremely popular with consumers in our core markets,” said Arima senior VP Stephen Hung. "If a consumer is watching soccer and can send an SMS to a friend about the game, this interactive action can drive revenue for the operator and increases the value of the free-to-air TV feature."

SMS-TV will be available this summer in Telegent's Asian free-to-air analog mobile TV market.