LG Electronics Showcases Cell Phones Equipped With New ATSC-M/H Receiver Chip

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Miniature LG System-On-Chip Powers the Tiny Televisions that Bring Live, Local Broadcasts to Viewers Wherever They Go

LAS VEGAS — Showing wireless operators how they can harness the emergence of broadcast mobile digital television (DTV), LG Electronics today demonstrated three prototype cell phone models that receive the new mobile DTV signals now being transmitted by nearly four dozen broadcast stations around the country. With hundreds of stations expected to sign on the air using the newly-minted technology this year and demand for truly mobile, portable DTV reception on the rise, LG is showing the handsets to wireless industry executives at the CTIA Wireless 2010 conference here this week.

“With more broadcasters adding mobile digital TV transmissions each month, we want to show the wireless industry exactly what’s involved in delivering over-the-air digital TV signals, familiar programs from your favorite TV stations, to mobile phone users. The devices we’re showing here work with the free over-the-air Mobile DTV signals from broadcasters, complementing video services by wireless carriers. In addition to these cell phones running on both the CDMA and GSM networks, we’re also demonstrating how easy it is to receive mobile DTV on a netbook with a plug-in accessory receiver,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, vice president, marketing and innovation, LG Mobile Phones.

Based on the mobile DTV standard co-developed by LG Electronics, the handsets equipped with mobile DTV include a CDMA phone with twin LCD screens (on the inside, and outside, of the clamshell handset); a CDMA model with a 2.8-inch LCD screen and up to four hours of DTV-viewing battery life, and a GSM phone with a 3-inch LCD screen also with up to four hours of DTV time.

Wireless industry veteran Anne Schelle, now executive director of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, representing more than 900 TV stations, applauded LG for its leadership in developing the new mobile DTV broadcast standard, chips and handsets, adding: “Mobile DTV represents a significant opportunity for wireless carriers to partner with broadcasters and take advantage of this robust point-to-multipoint video distribution system. This will allow cellular operators to more efficiently use their own spectrum for value-added services, while tapping into a new revenue source by providing interactive services to consumers and audience measurement capabilities to TV stations.”

Seven Millimeters Square

The eye-catching demonstrations by LG are made possible by a new reception, tuning and decoding chip that measures only seven millimeters on each side, designed for easy integration into mobile phone handsets. The LG2161R receiver chip is already in pilot production and will move to mass production this summer. This latest-generation LG mobile DTV chip includes both the RF (radio frequency) tuner and the mobile DTV demodulator for reception and display of the robust new DTV signals that are now being transmitted by select local broadcast TV stations.

The new LG2161R is a system-on-chip architecture that fully supports the specification of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) A/153 mobile DTV standard with the capability of receiving mobile TV broadcasts in both the UHF and VHF bands. With improved channel changing speed from earlier chipsets, the LG2161R also features enhanced reception performance and like its predecessors is extraordinarily efficient – allowing a typical cell phone viewer to watch more than 3.5 hours of programming on a single battery charge.

Netbook and USB Receiver Combo

Also highlighted in the LG exhibit at CTIA Wireless 2010 is the powerful new LG X300 netbook connected to an external USB-port “dongle” receiver that can easily receive the same over-the-air mobile DTV signals viewed on the prototype cell phones. Weighing in at fewer than 990g with smart built-in features such as Smart-On 2.0, built-in Wi-Fi and a 64GB hard drive, the X300 provides the ultimate on-the-go computing – and with the dongle receiver, broadcast television – experience.

“Among the first products to reach consumers will be a variety of USB receivers for mobile DTV, most of which are built around LG chips for reception,” said Dr. Jong Kim, president of LG’s U.S. R&D lab, Zenith. These low-cost receivers can instantaneously transform a netbook, or laptop computer into a mobile digital TV receiver with the addition of software that will come with the USB device. LG is working with more than a dozen companies to introduce mobile DTV products in the U.S. market – all powered by LG chips.”

Mobile Digital TV: LG’s Latest Innovation

The deployment of mobile DTV by local broadcasters and by device manufacturers is the next logical step for digital television. LG took a leadership role at the beginning of the digital transition with HDTV projection TV sets, which have now evolved into svelte and stylish flat-screen LCD and Plasma models. LG technology was built into millions of digital TV converter boxes that are bridging consumers who are extending the life of their analog screens, and now LG technology is paving the way for mobile digital TV with the introduction of new products from a variety of manufacturers that utilize the LG mobile DTV receiving/decoding chip inside.

Standardized by the ATSC and formally adopted as the Mobile DTV standard just five months ago, the new Mobile DTV standard allows broadcasters to use a portion of the existing 19.4 Megabit-per-second DTV channel capacity to transmit data with extremely robust characteristics suitable for mobile, pedestrian and handheld applications. The Mobile DTV signal is also compatible with 8-VSB DTV, which was developed by Zenith, LG’s U.S. research and development lab.