Virgin Launches TV Over DAB Handset

No, I didn't know the technology existed either!

For those who didn’t know, DAB stands for ‘Digital Audio Broadcasting’. It was designed to enable higher fidelity transmissions with improved noise immunity and greater mobility; it was not designed to send TV. At least that’s what I thought…


Virgin’s ‘Lobster 700 TV’ handset is about to change all that. Debuting next month the mobile phone previously known as the ‘HTC Trilogy’ has kept a curiously low profile yet does something rather remarkable. Sidestepping 3G entirely it instead hops on the back of DAB data streams which are capable of running at speeds up to 256kbps.

Of course, this being the UK, most DAB broadcasts are actually sent at just 128kbps (I’m really hijacking Benny’s rant here) and we don’t know whether Virgin will be using this or pushing the standard to its full potential. It is an important decision too because, even on the model’s 2.2in screen, I don’t really fancy the lower bit rate.

Still, the 700 is far from a one trick pony (even if its one trick is rather neat) since it also runs Windows Mobile 5.0, supports push email, has an integrated 1.3MP camera and sports a microSD slot. At this stage we’re still lacking some important details like what the dimensions are or how much Virgin intends to flog it for but we do know a September release is in the offing.

Ultimately I’ve never been tempted to join the Virgin network and – in all honesty – I’m still not, but I’d love to see this thing in action on ”someone else’s” contract…

Virgin Mobile

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