Texas Instruments Announces HDTV Mobile Phones

Jeff Berg
DALLAS, Texas — Development has begun on a mobile phone chip that will allow consumers to pick up HDTV content on their cell phone and possibly provide pay-per-view services, according to the largest producer of mobile computer chips.

Code-named “Hollywood,” the new chip, being developed by Texas Instruments, will allow cell phone users to view live digital television broadcasts and high-quality streamed video content on their handhelds.

“TI’s new ‘Hollywood’ digital TV chip will combine the two biggest consumer electronics inventions of our time – the television and the cell phone,” said Gilles Delfassy, senior vice president and general manager of Texas Instrument’s Wireless Terminals Business Unit.

“With this new chip on the cell phone, users will enjoy digital, high-quality TV in real-time,” Delfassy said.

Currently, television streaming services are offered through Sprint and AT&T Wireless, but the frame rate is exceptionally slow.

The new chips will utilize both the Digital Video Broadcasting (Handheld) standard, developed in Europe and expected to extend into North America, and the Japanese Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting (Terrestrial) standard.

Wireless networks that support these standards will be able to broadcast live programming at 24 to 30 frames per second, pay-per-view services and possibly interactive television.

“One by one, the industry’s most exciting consumer electronics are being integrated into wireless handsets, allowing consumers to get their news and entertainment whenever and wherever they want,” said Delfassy.

Earlier this week, Qualcomm, the second-largest chip producer for mobile phones, announced that it was also working to produce a digital television receiver for mobile phones.

Both companies expect to provide samples of their chips during 2006 and Texas Instruments projected the first mobile digital television deployments as early at 2007.