Today I asked myself the question: how many types of “Mobile TV” (delivery systems) are there? On a day-to-day basis, my work brings me in to contact with a plethora of terms for this technology, some of which are more common than others. That being the case, please find a (semi-) definitive list – I think you will be surprised at the amount of variants!
- 3G Unicast – utilising RTSP (RealTime Streaming Protocol)
- MBMS – Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service
- BCMCS – BroadCast MultiCast Services
- CMMB – China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting
- DVB-H – Digital Video Broadcast – Handheld (including DVB-IPDC, DVB-SH,and DVB-H2)
- T-DMB – Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting
- MediaFLO – Media Forward Link Only
- ISDB-T – Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting – Terrestrial
- MPH – Mobile Pedestrian Handheld
As you can see, they range from delivery systems that rely on the existing 3G network (RTSP, MBMS), through to those that require their own broadcast infrastructure (DVB-H, T-DMB amongst others).
Another differentiator is which regions some of these techologies are dominant in. I think it’s fair to say that DVB-H is regarded (perhaps erroneously) as a European standard, whereas MediaFLO is often mentioned in conversations regarding the US. – T-DMB also gets the “Asia” label typically. However, in reality, each of these systems is being demonstrated in several countries.
So, what is the future for Mobile TV – is the dream of a single unified standard ever going to come to pass, or is the reality a more fragmented picture, with opportunities (and money) defining the way forward? Join me tomorrow for further thoughts on how the service, predicted by many Analysts to be the next “killer app” for Mobile, could pan out….