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Reviewers Comment on Dyle TV/Samsung Lightray 4G 

Reviews of the new Samsung Lightray 4G smartphone with the built-in receiver for mobile DTV have started to appear. CNET editors found the Dyle service from Metro PCS is a free way to watch TV on mobile phones, but reception isn't perfect

One editor writes, “I only had a chance to use the Dyle application around the office, but I was pleased with what I got. Of course, I went into this with fairly low expectations. The service was able to locate four channels: NBC, Fox, the children's channel Qubo, and Telemundo. The problem is it only ever picked up three channels at once (and really just two most of the time). The upside was NBC was usually one of them, allowing me to catch a few swimming events live while at work.” 

The reviewer also found that coverage was inconsistent and they didn't like the retractable antenna, which they feared “will more than likely open you up to ridicule.” The limited number of channels was another concern. The reviewer concluded: “Certainly the Dyle service is still in its infancy, so I look forward to seeing how it progresses.” 

Sesha Segan's article Hands On With Dyle TV and the Samsung Lightray 4G has this to say about the Dyle experience: “This thing works. Thanks to the fabulous building-penetrating properties of 700 MHz UHF spectrum (which is why the cell-phone companies want it) and the 7-inch antenna, I got crystal-clear NBC Olympics coverage in the middle of our labs, away from a window. Fox and Telemundo were also crystal clear, but Qubo came and went depending where I was in my office. Channel changes also take a while; I counted at least five to six seconds per channel switch. That makes it hard to channel surf.” Segan said, “Remember that this is local TV. That means you get local news, local weather and local sports, not just national entertainment programming you can watch elsewhere. Along with the greater reliability and lower data consumption of broadcast, that's the big difference between Dyle and streaming TV services like AT&T's U-Verse Mobile TV and T-Mobile TV.”

U.S. Pay-TV Subs Fall; U.K. Mulls Dropping Off-Air TV

Jon Brodkin's article U.S. homes drop pay-TV as DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner lose subscribers; Meanwhile, U.K. officials recommend eliminating broadcast TV entirely on takes a look at the impact of cord-cutting on pay TV and a disturbing effort underway in the United Kingdom. Brodkin reports that: “Large numbers of U.S. homes have dropped pay-TV services, with big losses for satellite provider DirecTV, and cable companies Time Warner and Comcast. Rounding up the latest quarterly earnings results issued by major TV providers, Reuters reported today that Comcast lost 176,000 subscribers, Time Warner lost 169,000 customers, and DirecTV lost 52,000.” 

Regarding the effort to eliminate TV broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Brodkin writes, “U.K. officials are looking toward a future in which the use of TV airwaves can be eliminated altogether. In a House of Lords communications committee report titled “Broadband for all—an alternative vision,” officials argued this week that Internet access should be seen as a “key utility” available to all, even in remote areas.” The report notes, “It is likely that IPTV services will become ever more widespread, and eventually the case for transferring the carriage of broadcast content, including public service broadcasting, from spectrum to the Internet altogether will become overwhelming,” 

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.