As if digital TV in all its variants wasn't difficult enough to get off the ground, now startup Telegent Systems has announced a mobile TV chip that combines legacy NTSC and PAL with digital DVB-T/DVB-H capability.
While I agree that the concept is good in that it's wise to leverage existing infrastructure to get a new application off the ground, the problems are myriad. To start with, analog TV is quickly disappearing. Maybe not as fast in some developing countries, but certainly in countries where the general populace can afford the cost of the all-in-one smartphone—the only such device that could support a combined TV receiver. Given the design cycles of a handset, and the hoops carriers go through to make sure a handset performs up to par, by the time a handset equipped with a combination receiver finally makes it to market, a lot more analog channels will have gone dark.
Beyond that, the power consumption of an analog receiver is prohibitive, as is the footprint of a combined chip. Add to that the fact that designers are already wrestling with too many wireless interfaces, and the future of yet another receiver on a handset becomes dark also. There are some instances where going back to the future won't help.