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DVB-H goes into beta in US

Radio tower company Crown Castle International switched on its beta mobile TV service based on the DVB-H platform on Monday.

The service, operated by subsidiary Modeo, is a commercial quality mobile TV offering in New York City. The beta service includes live video content from network programmers Fox News, Discovery Channel and others, as well as streaming audio content from Music Choice.

Initial distribution of the DVB-H-enabled Modeo Mobile TV Smartphones to beta service participants began in the last week of 2006 and will continue throughout the first quarter of 2007. Taiwanese manufacturer HTC (High Tech Computer) is building the device.

Jupiter Research analyst, Julie Ask, notes that the beta has launched without a US operator on board, not that the company needs one. “The technology could go into any one of many CE devices or a laptop computer. Someone, however, is going to have to go out and sign consumers up to a subscription service,” Ask said.

Jupiter believes that DVB-H will be more popular globally as it has been/is being rolled out in some countries in Europe.

On Monday Verizon Wireless took the wraps off its mobile TV offering, which will be the first commercial service to launch based on Qualcomm’s MediaFLO technology. Verizon’s V Cast service will launch this quarter.

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