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Platform enables 'error-free delivery' of media files to mobile TV

Posted: 16 Feb 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile TV  DVR  Digital Fountain  Penthera  Mediacast 

Penthera Technologies Inc. showcased at the 3GSM World Congress a new software platform designed to enable error-free delivery of MP3 files, podcasts, video clips, full-length TV shows and movies to phones, PDAs and laptops.

Penthera's said its platform, called Mediacast, allows mobile TV broadcasters to shift from "live streaming of TV and radio" to "broadcasting media files" to client devices. That could trigger a reevaluation within the fledgling mobile TV industry.

Mediacast allows mobile operators to "tricklecast" files to devices for storage and later playback. With client software installed on portable devices, consumers could access and play back virtually any type of media.

U.S.-based Penthera's said it software requires no additional bandwidth or investment in network infrastructure, potentially rendering moot the current channel escalation race among mobile TV technologies.

Citing the proliferation of digital video recorders (DVR), Adam Berger, Penthera's CTO, said, "Everything I watch today on TV is recorded," adding, "Our belief is that if we cannot find what we want to watch among 300 channels broadcast during primetime, it's no wonder that consumers aren't finding stuff they want to watch on their handsets" among the available mobile TV broadcast channels.

Penthera's software also provides DVR capabilities that allow users to record and save programs to a device—even while watching another program—for later viewing. "Consumers will suddenly have 100 to 1,000 stored filed pre-delivered to their phones in addition to five to eight live channels," said Berger, "with no additional cost in spectrum."

Noting the recent drop in flash storage costs, Berger added, "With a 1GB memory, you can store 10-12hrs of QVGA video in your handset."

However, it's no easy task to guarantee delivery of broadcast files. Signals are often interrupted or lost on error-prone mobile networks. Penthera turned to Digital Fountain, which leveraged "erasure coding" to develop its own patented Raptor algorithm. The algorithm fills in lost data packets inadvertently introduced into media during content broadcasting.

Penthera will become the first company to use Digital Fountain's patented technology in mobile broadcast software. The software will allow operators to begin delivering files within the next three to six months. The company will complete development of an application framework within the next six months, according to Berger.

- Junko Yoshida
EE Times




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