Want a Cell-phone Doubling as a TiVo?

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on February 12, 2008

Mobile TV’s growing acceptance in Asia and elsewhere is bound to prompt tech-oriented companies to introduce services designed to improve television viewing on the go. Already, consumer electronics companies have rolled out various new cell phones, navigation systems, PMPs, and handheld PCs that also work as mobile TVs. Consumers can expect more creative gizmos and technologies that will spread mobile TV.

One such enabler might be memory cards that let users download TV programs and view them when they want. On Feb. 11, SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile carrier, and U.S. flash memory card maker SanDisk announced that they have developed a mobile platform making SanDisk’s memory cards work roughly like a TiVo on the go. A cell-phone user can program his handset so that it will securely record his favorite soccer game or a new program on a SanDisk memory card that could be inserted in his handheld PC for viewing on a bigger screen while he commutes home.

Under a business deal arranged by the two companies, SK will license its DRM technology to SanDisk to protect content providers and deliver video files for a specified number of playbacks on various mobile devices. The two have also agreed to cooperate to distribute other contents such as games, movies, e-books and animation by using the platform they developed. SK plans to commercialize the “mobile personal video recording” service in Korea next year.

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