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CES 2007 + iPhone

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Verizon Wireless Nokia  

Jan 13, 2007, 3:26 AM   by Eric Lin, Eric Zeman, & Rich Brome   @phonescooper

Phone Scoop reports from CES 2007 in Las Vegas, plus the Apple iPhone. New phones from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, LG and UTStarcom. Plus videos of NFC, Mobile TV and Video Sharing in action.

Only days before the holiday break, Qualcomm let it slip that MediaFLO would launch early this year, raising expectations that Qualcomm and Verizon would announce commercial service here at CES, since Verizon is Qualcomm's only confirmed partner as of yet. Today the two companies showed off MediaFLO, which Verizon will launch as VCAST TV this quarter.

Unlike Verizon's current video offering, VCAST TV does not stream video over the cellular network. Instead you tune into a channel that is being broadcast over a completely separate network, similar to how you get local TV stations over the air. MediaFLO isn't all that different than over-the-air digital TV that stations across the US are rolling out. The first difference is that it's broadcast in QVGA, which is the size of the VCAST TV phones' screens.

The broadcast quality is impressive. The video is sharp and perfectly smooth. The sound is excellent (it's encoded in AAC+). And changing channels is nearly instantaneous. It really does mimic the experience of home digital TV.

The second difference is the programming. Verizon plans to launch its service with 8 channels including CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, MTV and Comedy Central, as well as a few other stations. (Although Verizon only has concrete deals with CBS and Fox so far; negotiations with other companies are still in progress.) During prime time most of these stations will show the same thing as their home TV counterparts, including the same commercials. However at other times - like the middle of the day - they will be showing other programming and re-running prime time favorites, instead of the usual talk or game shows.

Although the broadcast won't be using the same exact live feed as your living room TV at all hours, Verizon talked up the fact that it could be used for live breaking news and live-action events, including sports. Verizon also hopes to offer some sort of local programming by the end of the year, though they haven't figured out what just yet. At first only generic east- and west-coast network feeds will be available.

Because VCAST TV is a live TV network and not on-demand, you have to watch it like in the pre-TiVo, pre-set top box days and catch your show when it is on (though it might be repeated). To help you along, you can subscribe to a show on Verizon's web site and they will text you whenever one of your shows is starting.

There are still many unanswered questions about VCAST TV. While Verizon said it would launch this quarter, we don't know exactly when. Qualcomm said the network will be available in 20-30 cities this quarter, but today Verizon said it will be available in most major cities. Verizon is also still working out the cost of the service as well as the cost of the handsets. The service will launch on two phones, the LG VX9400 and the Samsung U620. Both have full VCAST features in addition to TV.

(A Verizon executive referred to the U620 as the "Mobi" during a presentation, but we were later told there was a good chance Mobi would not be the final name.)

The U620 looks like a typical Samsung slider, although it looks and feels more like the rounded models from last year as opposed to the more recent slim, angular models. Because it is a simple slider, you have to turn the phone on its side to watch TV full screen. When held this way the antenna extends straight up, but if held as you would normally hold the phone, the antenna comes out of the side.

Both phones have extending antennas for MediaFLO reception. We tried watching TV with the antennas down and had no problem, so we asked around and learned that the antenna helps most when changing channels or when reception is very weak. The LG's antenna is easily twice as long as the Samsung's.

The LG VX-9400 looks like a wide, slim candybar style phone, only with no visible numeric keypad. The screen rotates 90 degrees to reveal the keypad and of course to set the screen up for watching TV. At least on this model only the numeric keys are under the screen. On previous prototypes soft keys or send/end keys were under the screen as well. Now all navigation keys - including the TV key - are in a nice cluster at the bottom of phone, where they are always accessible.

Because you need to use the screen in landscape mode for a number of things other than watching TV, (like dialing a call, for instance,) LG has integrated a number of nice interface touches around the rotation of the screen. For instance the camera viewfinder is normally letterboxed when the screen is in portrait mode, but if you flip the screen up, the viewfinder automatically goes full screen.

You can watch a video of the LG VX9400 and VCAST TV here:



or you can visit YouTube or Google Video for more viewing and sharing options.

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Comments

This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

enycertifiedg

Feb 7, 2007, 10:38 PM

I wonder about the iPhone...

Everyone is talking so much about the iPhone but how comfortable would typing actually be on this phone?? I see Jobs and the Apple CEO doing everything else except for typing a text message. makes me wonder.........
watch it again, they show a demo on text messaging, and the way the messages are kept is quite impressive too.
...
motoXrosco

Jan 12, 2007, 1:42 AM

What's the point of live video sharing?

Why would you only want to see what the other person is seeing, but not the other person? You can easily have a true video conferencing phone, yet you don't want manufacturers to have a lens on the inside or at least one that rotates to face the user? And if you turn the phone around so the other person can see you, then you can't see them.. catch 22. Answer me this Cingular.
On the Youtube video of the live video sharing, they're using LG CU500's that have a rotating lens, so you can use it as a true video phone right? But then in the article it says Cingular doesn't want you to be able to do that??
I think that the USA is Ready for Video Calling. The Rest of the world has been doing it for years already, I think the USA should be on top of the food chain when it comes to things like this dont you think? or at least in par with the rest of the wo...
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thmbelina

Feb 4, 2007, 4:55 PM

Iphone

Does anyone know when they are going to have the iphone in stores?? Eh?
I think Apple said June.
fastharry

Jan 29, 2007, 10:19 AM

hs anyone heard of a replacement for the Sammy a990

i wanted to upgrade(verizon) from my a970 to the 990 sammy..but notice on PS's site the 990 is listed as sammy's flagship 2006 model....but I didn't see anything in the coverage about a new flagship model...has anyone heard anything?..thank you...

harry
lbrittner

Jan 15, 2007, 1:11 PM

Where is 3G???

How could Apple not make this 3G compatable? Unbelievable!

Cingular does not offer a wireless Air Card for Macs. If this phone was 3G it would be a great option for thethering to use as a modem for a laptop.

Even so - if the phone is so interet capable, why make it for the very slow Edge network?

I am not a buyer until it is 3G capable.

It is probably best to wait until Apple works the bugs out anyway. The first iPods had quality issues.
i do not have any inside info here, but i'm *betting* on the following:

apple said they would launch the iphone in europe in q4. all the carriers who are scrambling for the iphone have 3g hsdpa. cingular has hsdpa. i'm willing to be that in decembe...
(continues)
Read somewhere the 3G in US sucks. Japan has had it for 2 yrs and working on 4G. Also heard we will never get digital TV.
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cleolicious

Jan 27, 2007, 11:58 AM

Is there a better phone?

Maybe I am living in the dark ages here but I happen to think the iPhone is the coolest device I've ever seen. All these complaints have me confused. Is there a better phone out there, either here or in Europe or Asia? If so, please do tell and why. I am ever so curious to know what exists that blows away the iPhone.
chancer

Jan 13, 2007, 11:29 AM

IRRITATED

I just watched the presentation of the iPhone...that phone is amazing too btw. Apple really over did themselves this time. I have been reading on here for about the past hour trying to catch up with what NEW phones that SPRINT is offering to compete...and I dont see ANYTHING...and its very discouraging after seeing that iPhone in action. Does anyone know of anything sprint plans on releasing to compete with cingular? And who is getting the shine?
chancer said:
I just watched the presentation of the iPhone...that phone is amazing too btw. Apple really over did themselves this time. I have been reading on here for about the past hour trying to catch up with what NEW phones th
...
(continues)
...
Just read we are not getting the slider. For Europe only.That sucks. Would even jump to Cingular for that.
Etix

Jan 23, 2007, 2:32 PM

Question on the ultra phones

I dont think anyone has asked this yet, but with the ultra video and ultra music, where do the batteries go?
spr1ntr3p

Jan 9, 2007, 4:55 PM

Where's the Sprint?!

Maybe it's because they haven't been able to get all the info or news up yet, but it seems as if Sprint and/or CDMA phones in general are few and far between at this years CES... just a thought.
WTF!!! no kidding I would love to get my hands on the Motorola Z6 I really want a cool slider I am so sick of my flip phone and pocket dial way too much with a bar style phone but sprint needs to get some cdma versions of these gsm phones i dont think...
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I think cell phone carriers are really finding value and seeing more room to grow on these GSM networks. Im not bashing any other network or carrier specifically I just think the reason more makers are not making more CDMA phones is because CDMA does ...
(continues)
Maybe they're focused on trying to revitalize their image after laying off 5000 employees b/c their network merger BOMBED. Just a thought.
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MORTFE

Jan 13, 2007, 5:24 PM

iPhone Specs

Unless I missed it, haven't seen anything about size, only thickness and weight. What about voice dialing, speech-to-text, memo recording? Confused
we said something about size - it has the same thickness AND width as a 5G video ipod, it's about 1 cm taller than that ipod as well. apple did this so it will fit into almost any accessory or speaker pack with a dock connector.

as far as voice dia...
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monkeyracer

Jan 14, 2007, 2:16 PM

does anyone have info on a soon to be released samsung?

I found a model number:

SPHM510BKS for blue and also SPHM510RKS for red in my system, and I was wondering if anyone had any pictures or specs about this upcoming phone.

Thanks.
The M510? Sounds like a successor to the M500. Wink
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AnalogPimp

Jan 13, 2007, 8:26 PM

I Dont Understand

We get all upset cause Japan Tokyo ect....is so far ahead of us in technology and then Apple comes out with a phone that puts us in the same rang as most countries with technology on phones and we diss it real bad. I wish the U.S would catch up with all the technology that Japan and Tokyo offer, but the average U.S consumer isnt interested with all the techno stuff thats available so we keep it simple cause we are so scared of having technology in out hands that simplize and unify many different things such as carrying a big ol' wallet with a million cards and cash. As long as its protected from theifs then why are we so scared of it. I wish things were fingerprint access and eye scanner crap I mean come on anybody can steal my name and s...
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I think that the average consumer is interested in future technology, however they cannot afford it and that right there is what keeps us from it.

Do you have any idea the cost involved with using retina or fingerprint scanners for security purpo...
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kapwww

Jan 13, 2007, 4:20 PM

iPhone battery....

Being a VZW rep, I've only dedicated a small amount of my time to researching the iPhone.

Does anyone know if the battery is removable like a regular cell phone or did they use the same style from the iPod where you would have to pay Apple to change the battery for you?

Just curious...
The battery is integrated, not user-changeable.
LiLise22

Jan 10, 2007, 8:46 PM

CRAP CRAP AND MORE CRAP!

don't u just LOVE how the U.S. gets SHAFTED with all the latest and greatest GARBAGE in technology??!! there's SO much better gadgets out there, and this is what they have to offer us, gee...thanks...BUT NO THANKS!!
that argument used to be perfectly valid but i don't understand how you can still say that. sure we don't get alot of the Series 60 phones that other countries get, but when you look at what does come to the states, it's in line with what the rest of ...
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...
Rolling Eyes Hey ...what do you expect ! Manufacturers insist on inventing things we didn't ask for or want ! And when they do, it's just "crappy" ..! Consider the camera in a cell phone .. 1.3 megapizels ..sheesh, may as well by a kodak flash cube ! Music...
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paran

Jan 11, 2007, 12:36 AM

WHERE'S SHINE?!!!

Eh? it's kind of surprising that it didn't talk about Shine.
I've seen and heard some news about it; it's EXTREMELY disappointing that LG's releasing the "BAR TYPE" Shine for US and regular slider type for Europe. I was definitely gonna get it if they were releasing the same version of European one, but I guess not...
I seriously need to see the actual model though.
They weren't showing any Shine models for the US... only Europe.
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dragonbeast

Jan 13, 2007, 12:08 PM

Samsung A720

We already have this phone in Canada. It was introduced by Telus in December without much fanfare. It's available in two colours, white/silver and pink. There is also a gift set available, similar to the hot chocolate bundle.

http://www.telusmobility.com/qc/pcs/phones.shtml »
aber

Jan 10, 2007, 11:06 AM

Question about N76

Does the N76 update to HSDPA, or is it the same as the N75 (UMTS)? Also, is it just me, or does it seem like Sony Ericsson and Nokia are on their way out of the US market? Both of their showings at CES seem a little disappointing.
i too am dissapointed with nokia and se's offerings, but i bet they're holding out for 3gsm to announce their new high end hansets. Nokia did just announce the n95 not too long ago, and the n75. se is working on that thin phone the ai
aber said:
Both of their showings at CES seem a little disappointing.

CES is not primarily a phone show. Some years those companies make no new phones announcements at all.

3GSM and CTIA are the big phone-focused s...
(continues)
I'd agree with Rich(?), CES isn't a mobile show. Most of the handset vendors and carriers are going to hold off until CTIA or a similar show to make big announcements.

Why waste your marketing attempts and end up getting lost in the flood of HDT...
(continues)
CES is not a big phone show. I wouldn't judge any company until you see what they show at 3GSM and CTIA.
Jonathanlc2005

Jan 12, 2007, 1:49 AM

NOTHING ON WIMAX???

YOU COULDNT GET US ANYTHING ON WIMAX AND WHAT IT LOOKS TO DELIVER???????
It's data... but faster. It doesn't 'look like' anything. Confused

It's also pretty far away from wide deployment... at least with Sprint. There aren't any interesting devices you can hold yet. There MIGHT be at CTIA, and if so of course we'll cover tho...
(continues)
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Wireless Buddy

Jan 9, 2007, 1:56 PM

How do you dial???

With the 9400, do you rotate the screen, input the number, rotate it back, and press send? Shocked
I'm wondering the same thing. Surely you don't have to keep it open during a call either.
FAUguy

Jan 11, 2007, 4:56 PM

VX9400 vid

Thanks for adding a vid of the VX9400.
There are a lot of sites with pictures of it, but not any videos.

What was the sound quality like?
I don't understand why LG only put 1 speaker
on the back of the phone.
At least the VX8100/8300 has stereo speakers.
 
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