Tiny Sharp Chip Unifies DVB-H & T-DMB

Ending the format war before it began?

Could mobile television be about to take off following this development from Sharp…?

The company has come up with a world first: a tiny dual mode tuner which supports both T-DMB and DVB-H – the two competing formats for mobile broadcasts. In handset world this breakthrough is the equivalent of LG’s BH100 HD DVD/Blu-ray player…

Dubbed the ‘VA3B5EZ915’ it is remarkably small (8.0 x 8.0 x 1.25 mm) for a first generation solution and means little bulk will need to be added into next gen phones designs to incorporate it. Sharp also boasts that the chip’s power draw is just 43mW so it isn’t a major battery drain.

Of course all this is probably going over the heads of most of you since back in Blighty (or even the good ol’ US of A) video is still largely transmitted over 3G (apart from with Virgin’s Lobster 700TV which uses DAB). The future however is T-DMB or DVB-H, two dedicated digital broadcast protocols which improve both streaming quality and picture levels. Expect handsets – hopefully – to appear sometime next year…

So could this be a format war that ended before there was a format war? I certainly hope so…

Official Press Release

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think.