A few months ago, I wrote about how a group of companies formed an alliance to hasten the development and awareness of mobile digital TV in the US (Mobile TV heats up). We all know that sometimes these groups take off, and sometimes thy fizzle. Thankfully, the DTV Alliance leans toward the former.
I recently saw a demo of this DVB-H technology, and it was quite impressive. As previously stated, it's unlikely that users will watch two-hour movies or even hour-long TV shows on their handsets. However, for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, such a setup is definitely conceivable.
From the OEMs perspective, a mid-range handset can be upgraded to offer digital TV for less than $10. That includes a decider, a tuner (radio receiver), and a baseband. These three functions are all available in one IC in TI's Hollywood chip (Chip streamlines mobile TV design). The part is sampling now, and the first handsets to incorporate the device will appear by the end of the year, probably in time for the holiday shopping season.
When I questioned the power consumption of such a device, TI made the claim that an average handset could provide about 4.5 hrs. of TV viewing before draining the battery. Understand that the primary power consumer in such a setup is in the display backlight, and I don't see anything on the horizon that would change that.