After almost a year of regular hype–building announcements, Doordarshan (DD) has finally launched its Mobile TV pilot with Nokia. The pilot was supposed to start in January. Indiatimes reports that at present 8 channels are being beamed within 10-12 km of Akashwani Bhawan in Delhi, and can be viewed by anyone with DVB-H compatible handsets, between 5:30am and midnight. The channels being broadcast include DD National, DD News, DD Sports, DD Bharati, DD Urdu, DD Punjabi, DD Bangla and DD Podhigai. The number of channels is expected to be increased to 16. This pilot is in collaboration with Nokia, and at Convergence India earlier this year, Lloyd Mathias, Director-Marketing for Motorola had confirmed that they are also in talks with broadcasters for mobile TV trials.
However, readers should bear in mind that DVB-H is a terrestrial broadcasting technology, and only public broadcaster Doordarshan has license for terrestrial broadcasting, hence a monopoly. Another alternative is DVB-SH for reception of satellite channels, but both DVB-H and DVB-SH require handsets with built in receivers. I’ve seen demonstrations of both DVB-H, DVB-SH and Qualcomm’s MediaFLO at expo’s in Delhi, but one really can’t detect issues with clarity of reception under such test conditions.