Mobile digital television, also known as MDTV, is television broadcasting that is received on a small handheld device. The broadcasting is received in a digital format, which helps to make the reception crisp and clear, even on a small viewing screen. Depending on the configuration of the device, the mobile digital TV may receive free to air programming, or be set up to receive some form of pay TV services via a specific provider. The concept of MDTV serves to combine the power of the Internet over a mobile phone or other handheld device with the convenience of watching television at any time of the day or night.
The idea behind MDTV is that consumers enjoy watching television in a number of different settings. Travelers waiting for an outbound flight can relax and watch their favorite programs on the handheld device, or office workers can catch the news or some other type of program during the lunch hour. Mobile television delivered with this degree of ease and convenience makes it possible to watch television in locations where the option was not available previously.
One of the more common means of receiving MDTV signals is via a wireless connection. Often, this is the same general connection that makes it possible to browse the Internet using a handheld device. With this application, the user accesses a specific web site, enters the proper login credentials, and is then able to choose various from a wide range of broadcast stations located around the world.
Another approach to MDTV involves using the handheld device to access a private network operated by a specific carrier. In this situation, the user subscribes to the service, and in turn receives software that is downloaded onto the handheld device. Accessing an icon on the screen of the device makes it possible to activate the function, scroll through a selection of programming, and settle in to watch television as long as the user wishes.
Payment for MDTV subscriber services can take two specific forms. One approach is to pay a per minute fee for usage, with the amount added to the monthly mobile phone bill as a line item. A second approach is to pay a flat fee each month for a bank of viewing minutes.
As more people make use of handheld devices to meet all their communication needs, MDTV is likely to become more common around the world. As a powerful tool that makes it possible to access entertainment, news, sports events, and any other television offering without the need to be near a television set, MDTV is likely to change the way many consumers look at television in general. Already a relatively affordable option with many mobile service plans, there is a good chance that the cost associated with receiving broadcast signals via a handheld device will decrease as competition increases among providers.