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Japan's NTV shows future of mobile TV

Marc Perton

Japanese broadcaster NTV has seen the future of mobile television, and wants to share it with you. Sort of. The company is in the process of holding an expo in Tokyo, where they've lined up some leading Japanese manufacturers to show off their latest gear, along with concept products that will never see the light of an LCD screen. Among the current and near-future products were several video-capable cellphones, along with one that can wirelessly output stills to a printer. Panasonic showed off a system that can pipe terrestrial digital broadcasts into trains, coupled with a wireless system to allow commuters to hear a broadcast's audio via headsets without disturbing other passengers (hey, some of us like to work, read -- or sleep -- on the train). Of the items on display, the one that looked most useful and almost ready for prime time was Sharp's media player with video-on-demand functions (above). The device is designed to pull down VOD broadcasts via wireless IP, and then store them for later viewing on a hard drive or memory card. Given the number of DMB PMPs we've seen lately, including some with DVR-like functions, we'd say an IPTV VOD DVR PMP is an idea whose time has come. OK?

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