IBC News: O2 to Trial DVB-H Video to Mobile Phones

O2 and NTL have announced that they will be trialling a DVB-H mobile video service in Oxford, England next spring. That they have chosen DVB-H over the competing standards is good news for the platform’s supporters.

Nine transmitters will send sixteen channels of video to 500 O2 customers, with proposed content covering sport, music, news and ahem, soap operas. Those involved in the trial will be given phones from Sony and Nokia.

The trial is concerned with measuring consumer demand for video services, rather than being a purely technical pilot. Usage will be extensively tracked to see just what sort of service people might actually be interested in using.

The head of media business development at NTL’s Broadcast Division, Terry Howard, said: “This is a commercial trial to test the business case for a mobile TV service in the UK. We’ve performed extensive market research about consumer demand and viewing habits and it looks very positive, but these results need to be validated in a trial environment in conjunction with key players in the industry.”

O2 on the news

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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?