User-Generated DVB-H Broadcasts

ComVu ScreenshotThis is a turn-up for the books…ComVu “has announced the “world’s first” demonstration of live video broadcasts from a 3G camera-phone using DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld) protocols”. That’s right — from a cameraphone. The service is called PocketCaster…from the demo video it works by setting up a VPN (virtual private network) to ComVu’s servers, which is then broadcast over the web or to mobile phones, apparently using DVB-H technology. To be clear, it’s not using DVB-H technology to get the video from the handset to the servers, but from the servers to all the viewers. ComVu is working closely with Modeo, the main company rolling out DVB-H services in the US, and expects to roll out its services in 30 major US cities throughout 2007.
The service isn’t free, there’s a $4-200 per month subscription fee — that’s a big range, and I assume there’s a vastly different service offered depending on how much you pay. There was a quote in the video about alerting people for a cost of $100 as opposed to a cost of several thousand, but I couldn’t get what the reference was to. ComVu is also offering pay-per-view services to its customers so they can charge for the broadcast, out of which it will take a slice of the revenue. There was no mention of any T&Cs, but I’m guessing porn will be an early entrant onto the service. At that price it’s not going to be a mass take-up (ie, MySpace levels), but if someone can get an audience it’s an easy way to do mobile broadcasting.
It’s also a good deal for Medeo — it’s DVB-H service can transmit a lot of channels and it might be worth setting some aside for this service. Certainly better than rebroadcasting yet another TV channel. (via WindowsForDevices)