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Japan to launch Smartphone-only TV broadcast channel

Wednesday 05 Oct 2011
A television broadcast viewable only on Smartphones and tablets with special tuners will go live across Japan next year, according to a venture funded by the country’s largest television stations and mobile operator, IDG News reports.

Japan to launch Smartphone-only TV broadcast channel

New broadcaster nottv said at Ceatec, the Japanese electronics show, that it will use bandwidth frequencies left over when the country ended its analogue broadcasts earlier this year.

Because it will function as an over-the-air broadcaster, its quality will not suffer as the number of viewers increase, and it will be able to deliver digital content, including games and newspapers, simultaneously to a mass audience.

“Television is currently designed for viewing at home, with everyone sitting around a TV. We want to be more personal and interactive,” said Hiroaki Ban, Manager of Corporate Strategy of mmbi, the company that will operate nottv.

The company showed demonstrations of its application, which allows live commenting over Twitter and Facebook as shows progress. It also has features for on-demand viewing.

Ban said the programming will be much shorter in length, around 10 minutes per show, because it will be aimed at mobile users looking to fill idle time.

The broadcaster is currently waiting for government permission to use public airwaves, but expects to launch in April 2012.

Japan already has a digital broadcasting system for mobile devices called oneseg. But it mainly serves as a simultaneous repeat of existing channels. Nottv says it will be able to offer far better video and sound quality.