NEC demonstrates DTV on a cell phone

Watch your favorite team, catch the latest installment of a soap opera or check out the nightly news on your cell phone? That’s exactly what will happen if NEC has anything to do with it.

With NEC's "3G" cellular telephone, you may be able to watch your favorite programs on your cell phone. The phone is equipped with a digital television tuner.

Last week NEC demonstrated its third-generation “3G” cellular telephone that’s equipped with a digital television tuner. According to the company, the demonstration was more of a proof of concept than a trial of feature that will be used today.

The prototype was designed for use with Japan’s terrestrial DTV system that uses a single segment of 13 orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) segments for mobile reception.

NEC packaged its OFDM decoder chip, UHF receiver and compact antenna into the portion of the 3G phone that normally holds a digital camera. The transport stream used for the demonstration was MPEG-2, which was demultiplexed into MPEG-2 AAC audio and MPEG-4 video. The result was a 160 kbps video stream and 48kbps mono audio. Television images were shown on the phone’s 120 x 160 pixel display.

While the prototype was designed for use in Japan, NEC sees the DTV tuner being built into cell phones used throughout the world. Areas NEC plans to enhance include power consumption. The company hopes to achieve one hour of television reception and one hour of telephone service in future designs.

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