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Japan begins digital TV broadcasting to mobile phones

April 2nd, 2006 · No Comments

The bizarrely named One Seg (which stands for One Segment Broadcasting), a terrestrial digital TV service that beams entertainment channels to car navigation systems, mobile phones and other portable media devices, went live in Japan on April 1. 29 prefectures around Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya now have the service and it will be rolled-out further by the end of the year.
Japan adopted terrestrial digital TV in December 2003, and thoughtfully put aside a frequency band to allow mobile reception of DVB services. One Seg also allows users to access data services, such as traffic and weather reports, or obtain media from the internet. There are currently around 500,000 devices in circulation which can tune into the service, and a flood of more specialized viewing products is expected shortly. As is the way in Japan, promotion has involved booths being set up outside the larger train stations, and co-promotions at big retail outlets. A spokesman for Biccamera’s Yurakucho store says that men in their 20s to 40s have been the biggest buyers of One Seg phones.
In similar news, Korea, which has had digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB), for mobile services, since December 2005, this week, saw the completion of a project by six local terrestrial broadcasters to install a relay that allows commuters on the local Inchon subway lines to watch video underground. Over 200,000 people make the journey daily. Terrestrial DMB has a rival though in Satellite DMB. Digital TV from satellite services can already be enjoyed underground, thanks to DMB relays serving all the subway lines in Seoul, Inchon and Kyonggi Province. The six terrestrial DMB broadcasters plan to match distribution by June, at a cost of around 29 billion won. It’s hoped the project will be completed in time for the start of the World Cup.

Tags: Broadcasting · Trade

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