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More Details on Sanyo Cellphone DTV Receiver

Last week I included a link to a article on the new Sanyo cell phone with a built-in DTV tuner. Unfortunately, the translation of the article it linked to at ZDNet Japan was so rough it was difficult to understand. A more recent article in NE Asia Online is much easier to understand. The article Sanyo Mobile Phone Can Receive and Record Digital Terrestrial TV Broadcasts also includes pictures of the device receiving DTV broadcasts. According to the article, the prototype handset uses CDMA2000/1x- protocols, which may make it compatible with systems operated by Sprint and Verizon Wireless in the U.S.

Unfortunately, if you are interested in the DTV receiver portion, it is based on the ISDB-T digital terrestrial TV standard used in Japan, not the 8-VSB system used in the U.S. Like the NEC receiver I described earlier this month, the receiver uses one segment of the COFDM signal. It works at UHF only. The video format is QVFGA MPEG-4 at 15 fps. Audio is MPEG-2 AAC. A built-in 128MB flash memory allows the phone to record up to 30 minutes of programming.

The article said, "Mobile phone handset manufacturers are expecting that mobile phones with a digital TV receiving function would be the big hit after the camera phone."

Although I have not heard of any manufacturers offering a similar product for the U.S. ATSC standard, perhaps this will be the "killer application" that will drive implementation of enhanced VSB. On a side note, Sharp joined other notebook computer manufacturers in offering a built-in TV tuner with the laptop. Sharp's Mebius PC-SV1-7DB, due out later this month, will include an instant play feature that allows users to quickly play DVDs, music CDs or watch TV without booting the operating system. While the Japan Corporate News Network article did not specifically state it, it appears the Sharp tuner is analog, not digital.