For the past couple of years, almost every mobile manufacturer and network in the UK has been whispering about DVB-H and DMB -- that's TV on your mobile to you and me. They're taking their time to set it up, though, and in the meantime we can only watch the odd clip on 3G, or a pre-selected choice of channels.
However, according to Mobile Marketing, a company called ROK didn't think this was good enough, so it's created a black box nicknamed 'BLCX' -- a sly dig at the quality of other mobile TV solutions, perhaps? -- which plugs into your Sky or Freeview set-top box. This magical device streams TV channels via a Wi-Fi connection through your broadband service straight to your smart phone.
You can receive this TV feed anywhere in the world and at any time, through either a Wi-Fi or GPRS connection, and your phone works like an ultra-remote control, changing the channel on the set-top box itself. Amazingly, it works with 2.5G phones, so you don't have to get a 3G handset. It does all of this at 25 frames per second, we're promised, which means you'll see a clear and smooth image. ROK already has a service running that provides TV to your smart phone, called ROK TV, but we're particularly excited by the concept of being able to watch our own TV anywhere in the world. Especially since the BLCX is coming out on 1 June, just in time for the World Cup.
The BLCX will cost around £250, or £12 a month to rent. The ROK TV service costs £10 a month, but you're limited to 13 channels. The only niggle with the BLCX, which ROK itself admits, is that unless you're near a free Wi-Fi hotspot you're going to have to fork out a bundle every month on GPRS charges. The average download size for the BLCX service is about 10MB an hour, so this product is aimed at people who have a GPRS bundle included in their tariff. Expect a full review soon. -AL