Having quietly conducted beta trials of mobile TV for some months, the UK radio and TV broadcaster, the BBC, is now testing a new mobile TV web site following the success of its iPlayer service-- an on-demand application for PC and cell phone users. The company also announced that it planned to dramatically increase the level of BBC TV content available to cell phone users, declaring mobile was the fastest growing of its distribution channels.
According to BBC controller of future media and technology, Erik Huggers, the firm was looking at a selection of WiFi-enabled handsets from HTC, Motorola, Palm, Samsung and Sony Ericsson to support the new mobile TV service. (The iPhone was not included due to its lack of WiFi video streaming support). "The purpose is to test uptake and quality and assess how we might be able to stream live services to an increasing number of mobile devices in the future, but we are some way off this becoming a full BBC service."
One hurdle the BBC will need to tackle concerns cell phone users watching this live broadcast TV without a TV licence--this is a criminal offence that could lead to prosecution and a £1,000 fine.
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