updated 06:15 pm EDT, Wed August 26, 2009
Qualcomm PTV Player
Qualcomm is hoping to spark life in its over-the-air FLO TV format by launching a device of its own, a detailed leak notes. Although its digital TV service is already found in a number of cellphones in the US, the normally chip-only company is said by GDGT to be developing a Personal Television, or PTV, that would focus on its own FLO TV tuner. It would be dominated by a capacitive (finger-driven) touchscreen and might have a more natural interface with flicks and other gestures.
Music would be a side focus with 4GB of flash memory and a headphone jack. Battery life would be relatively short with 5 hours of TV and 15 hours of music, however, and it's not clear that the player would support offline videos.
Qualcomm is purportedly committed to the PTV, but the source doesn't know when the company would make news of its existence public. CES 2010 is currently considered the most likely target for an unveiling.
The PTV's prospects for success are considered dim in the US, as cellphone customers in the US have generally been reluctant to use FLO TV on either AT&T or Verizon. Much of the hesitance usually stems from the cost of the service, which often adds $13 or more to a cellphone's monthly rate, but also due to incomplete coverage and only a handful of generally lackluster phones to use. Digital over-the-air TV is popular in Japan and Korea through the 1Seg and DMB formats but is often free, focuses on true live broadcasts rather than timeshifted material and can be found in more desirable phones as well as portable media players and TVs.