Skip to main content

NEC Demonstrates Cell Phone with built-in DTV Tuner

NEC has built the world's first working prototype of a mobile phone capable of receiving terrestrial DTV broadcasts. The mobile phone is designed for use in Japan, where digital broadcasting is planned to begin by the end of this year. The prototype included a built in UHF antenna, a UHF tuner, and the LSI "PD 61530" ODFM decoder chip developed by NEC in November 2002. The decoder chip is small and has low power consumption. A picture of the working prototype is available in the NEC Press Release.

The press release said that MPEG-4 compression was used in the prototype. The receiver depends on a specific portion of the COFDM signal. The press release described it this way: "Partial reception uses a dedicated segment, which is positioned to be the central one among OFDM segments. This segment is assigned for mobile service." Since this technology was designed specifically for OFDM systems, it is not clear if similar technology could be developed for the ATSC DTV standard.

EE Times UK also has information on the NEC phone. See Yoshiko Hara's article NEC designs DTV tuner into 3G cell phone.