MetroPCS is promoting the first ever phone that can receive local TV signals, most likely providing TV stations some relevance in the age of the smartphone, which is in time for the London Olympics 2012.
The fifth largest cellphone company in the country, MetroPCS Communications Inc., began selling the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G for only $459 on Friday. The smartphone is characterized with a built-in, extendable antenna, which is capable to receive special TV signals, transmitted from regular TV towers for reception through small gadgets like cellphones. The phone will cost you by about $200 more compared to its equivalent phone but without TV reception.The good thing is that there’s no recurring fee for TV charges.
Technically speaking, it is quite difficult to get phones to be able to tune in to the typical broadcasts designed for TV sets only. As an alternative, the smartphones of Samsung can receive the so-called special Mobile DTV signals. These are retransmissions of the primary broadcast channels, but at a reduced resolution, and apart from the network of the cellular phone.
MetroPCS, which is based in Dallas, is the only primary U.S. cellphone company to have supported Mobile DTV. AT&T and Verizon have once sold phones that receives subscription-based channels nationally. However,that network was shut down the previous year because it did not connect with the interest of the consumers.
At the present time, there are about 120 Mobile DTV stations in the country. In Chicago, there are five and in New York, there are four. NBC, which is broadcasting the Olympics, is a supporter of Mobile DTV, and local NBC stations are available in a number of cities in the country.