FLO TV unveils subscription-based personal television

Qualcomm's FLO TV division last week introduced a new subscription-based personal television receiver for its live mobile service. The signal is transmitted digitally on UHF Ch. 55 via the MediaFLO mobile video system.

Qualcomm is attempting to expand its subscription base beyond mobile telephones. It had already announced an in-car television system with displays up to 10in. Up to now, the company has been exclusively marketing its 12-14 channel, $8.99-per-month TV subscription service through wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T using 3G networks.

The new palm-sized FLO TV Personal Television, designed by Frog Design and manufactured by HTC, is expected to be available for sale by the holiday shopping season for a list price of $249.

It has a 3.5in diagonal screen and measures 4.4in x 3in x .5in and weighs just over 5oz. The battery life is more than five hours of mobile TV viewing or 300 hours standby. Viewers will be able to access the FLO TV service by buying one or three-year prepaid subscription plans, with the $8.99-a-month plan available with a three-year commitment.