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PaulOBrien

Virgin announces end to Lobster 700TV / Mobile TV venture

27 posts in this topic

Very disappointed to hear of the demise of DAB-IP TV.

I have owned a Lobster 700TV since last December. I wouldn't have paid the full price - I am on PAYG and have just got my final monthly £5 credit and am still getting TV for nothing. Maybe if Virgin had priced the TV this way from the start (and made it possible to renew licences without having to clear everything from the phone and reboot!), it might have sold better. The TV worked remarkably well actually, including on buses, but DAB coverage in Scotland leaves something to be desired. I noticed the other day that ITV now actually carries adverts - again maybe if ITV and C4 had done this from the start, they may have made some money.

All in all the concept was technically sound - probably marketed to the wrong people - I am quite happy to watch a full programme on a tiny screen if I have to - as I did 20 years ago with a Sinclair B&W Tv and 10 years ago on a Casio. Unfortunately the content was hardly likely to appeal to the youth market (Virgin's main sector ) who won't watch it on a big TV. The handset design is a bit of a so-what to most people but obviously not to the super-cool trendsetters who are currently looking for a super slim tiny handset. Maybe if they had included 2Gb of memory (stick a micro SD card in) and made more of its "iPod" capability, they would have pulled in people who value capability over appearance.

This is likely to be the last "free" mobile TV offering for some years with mobile TV being restricted to streaming over 3G networks until the frequency mess is sorted out.

On the positive side, I still have a cheap portable DAB receiver which can also act as a portable audio and video media player as well as a phone.

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I understand there are plans to change the audio codec used on DAB from MP2 to AAC+ which might render the dab function obolete too! I imagine the timescale is probably a way off but stations might start to migrate from MP2 to AAC+ leaving fewer and fewer MP2 stations as time goes on.

http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/articles...-years-time.php

No - the Lobster will be able to handle AAC+ with new codecs being a simple software upgrade - just the same as Windows Media Player etc. Where AAC+ will cause problems is with the people who paid out large amounts for "traditional" DAB radios which are essentially non-upgradeable. Similarly DVB-T is currently committed to MPEG-2 even though there are better solutions out there (ask Sky). A change in the near future would be political suicide for whichever government happened to be in power.

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