Japan Agrees on Digital Terrestrial TV Standard… for Mobile Phones

Japan’s six major television networks have agreed a standard for broadcasting and receiving digital television for mobile phones.

Fuji TV, NHK, NTV, TBS, TV Asahi and TV Tokyo have all signed up for the standard. “I think this will raise awareness among viewers about digital broadcasting and we hope it acts as a spur,” TV Tokyo managing director Katsumi Ueda told a news conference.

Services are due to start in April 2005, and will be free – but as yet, no handset or network providers have signed up. Interestingly, NEC released a prototype mobile phone that was compatible with Japan’s existing digital TV standard, but it suffered from power problems. See our recent article on DVB-H, linked below.

NEC’s digital TV mobile

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?