MetroPCS Outfitting Future Smartphones with New TV Services

Cellphone company MetroPCS is prepping its future smartphones to feature TV tuners and streaming TV services.

MetroPCS recently announced its plans to sell new smartphones with TV tuners for 2012. This means customers will now be able to tune in to broadcasts from local TV stations on their handheld devices.

MetroPCS’s smartphones can't tune into the regular broadcasts destined for TV sets, however. The smartphones will receive special "Mobile DTV" signals that some TV stations may have adopted.

It's unclear whether MetroPCS Communications Inc. plans to charge for the TV access or provide it free of charge.

MetroPCS is also looking to provide live programming through its new partnership with Mobile Content Venture. Mobile Content Venture is the nationwide mobile digital TV effort spearheaded by broadcasters including NBC, Fox and Cox Media Group.

MetroPCS will soon pre-load the Dyle Mobile TV service across forthcoming Android devices manufactured by Samsung Electronics. MetroPCS is the first wireless service provider to offer the Dyle service.

The first line of Dyle-enabled smartphones will be available sometime later this year. ATSC-Mobile technology will also come outfitted with the smartphones to help deliver live programming to subscribers.

Dyle Mobile TV is slated to feature live mobile television content from 15 major broadcast groups for MetroPCS smartphones. Those groups include Pearl LLC (which includes Belo Corp., Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith Corp., Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media) NBC, Fox, ION Television, Bahakel, Univision and Telemundo.

Mobile Content Venture expects to make its Dyle Mobile TV service available across more than 72 stations in 32 markets. This move will reach out to more than 50-percent of the U.S. population.

In October 2010, co-GM of Mobile Content Venture Erik Moreno stated that the company's initiative will target multiple devices and platforms. MetroPCS's smartphone devices are one of the first products being targeted for this new venture.