updated 12:00 pm EST, Wed January 4, 2012
MetroPCS will launch Samsung Mobile TV phone
Cellphone carrier MetroPCS on Wednesday announced it will bring out phones with built-in mobile TV tuners later in 2012. These signals are sent out from certain TV stations and are Mobile DTV signals. The first device to use the ATSC Mobile technology at MetroPCS will be from Samsung, in the form of an as-yet unnamed premium Android device.
The carrier partnered with Mobile Content Venture (MCV) on the undertaking, with the required service called Dyle Mobile TV and a preloaded Dyle app. Whether the service is free remains to be seen, and MCV promises to offer content from over 72 stations in 32 markets to the service. Live programming will include national and local news, entertainment, and sports.
A demo of the Dyle mobile TV service will be shown off at CES next week.
Qualcomm tried mobile TV on phones in the US with its defunct FLO TV service, but it failed because of its nature as a separate subscription service that needed proprietary tuners and was usually relegated to low-end phones or unpopular Windows Mobile phones. ATSC Mobile is free to use and isn't tied to any one hardware supplier. Concerns already exist, however, that ATSC may be too late in the face of Internet video.