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Mobile DTV Devices Reviewed

NEW YORK: Mobile over-the-air TV got props in a review by John Quain for PC World. Quain tested three mobile DTV receivers in New York recently. He noted that the service was free compared to Qualcomm’s Flo TV, which he referred to as MDTV’s “main rival.” Subscriptions will be around $10 to $14 a month for fewer than 20 channels, only in metro areas, he said. Quain also said MDTV tuners were cheap to integrate into handsets and other receiving devices. He took two such devices by LG and another from Valups for road tests, and “was impressed by the technology's video quality, plus its versatility in integrating with a wide array of devices,” he said.

New York City’s maze of skyscraper slot canyons creates one of the most challenging environments for DTV reception. Quain said the $250 LG Mobile DTV with DVD player gave good picture, but “was usually the first device to lose the broadcast.” LG’s KB770 handset beat out mobile satellite systems, he said. The tricked-out smartphone remains a prototype in the United States; no carrier has been announced, so price is unavailable. A DVB-T model has been released in Europe.

Finally, Quain tested the $99 Valups WiFi-enabled, mobile DTV peripheral receiver, rolled out at the Consumer Electronics show as the “Tivit.” It works with iPads, iPhones, iPods, BlackBerrys or Android-enabled handsets. Couple with an iPod, the device pulled mobile DTV signals into environs where the others did not. Quain did say he had to occasionally restart the device software, “but otherwise the unit worked without a hitch.”

His complete review is available at PC World