KDDI R&D Laboratories have jointly developed a mobile-phone terminal that receives digital terrestrial TV broadcasts with interactive services in conjunction with NHK Science and Technical Research Labs. The two companies are the first in Japan to develop such a product in advance of digital TV broadcasting aimed at mobile terminals, which is due to commence in fiscal 2005. We visited NHK’s open house for a peek at their prototype, a modified Hitachi W11H handset. The demonstration allowed users to watch a newscast and scroll through a menu selection of relevant links to view different segments, like weather forecasts or sports highlights. WWJ subscribers can see some frame-grab images, or now watch the video program here.
The special features of this mobile terminal include full compliance with broadcast makeup language (BML), a data broadcasting standard for mobile terminals in Japan, and it enables the mutual linking of communications content and broadcasting content. It is also equipped with an extension function that shares information such as location data history between telephone handsets and servers, and it enables the provision of location data-linked content.
More specifically, a broadcasting reception function is automatically initiated from a communications center, and emergency warning broadcasts are displayed on the screens of cellular phones. It is also possible to obtain details of disaster information, as data broadcasting is linked to communications. Furthermore, through the linking of programs that announce information regarding events such as movies with communications and the use of GPS functions, the user can obtain information regarding the nearest theater that is screening the movie concerned. Through the use of a video streaming reception function, it is also possible to watch and listen to video that has been taken from a different camera angle to the video shown during the broadcasting of sports programs, for example.