updated 03:35 pm EST, Fri January 11, 2008
AT&T Mobile TV Details
AT&T plans to conduct one of its most aggressive launches yet when it releases its first digital TV broadcast service this year, a leaked slide handed to Engadget reveals. In an expansion of earlier leaks, the carrier will launch a live digital TV service for phones known simply as AT&T Mobile TV. The service will share the same MediaFLO broadcast network as Verizon's V CAST TV as well as roughly eight of the channels but will add two of AT&T's own. The release will be broader than Verizon's and should cover 53 US cities on launch versus only a few cities for V CAST TV last year.
Mobile TV is billed as a genuine alternative to the company's existing Cellular Video service, which streams video over the Internet at about 10 to 15 frames per second instead of the full-speed 30 frames per second offered by MediaFLO, which broadcasts in a method resembling that of conventional digital TV.
Importantly, the initial release will center heavily around two key devices, the slide shows. One of these is known to be the LG Vu touchscreen phone, which is expected to compete both with Verizon's LG Voyager and with AT&T's iPhone, which is currently the only large-touchscreen handset on the provider's service. The Vu is understood to support AT&T's 3G (HSDPA) network and will likely use a variant on LG's Flash-based interface borrowed from devices such as the Prada and Viewty.
A second device is also poised to accompany the Vu but has not been revealed by any leaks to date.
AT&T's presentation does not indicate a specific release window other than the first quarter of the year; however, the Vu is believed to be launching on February 5th, pointing to a possible release day for the Mobile TV service itself.