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Linux powers first Japanese DTV phone

Feb 21, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Panasonic is shipping a Linux-based mobile handset capable of receiving digital or analog television. The “P901iTV” features a pivoting 2.5-inch color LCD, and works with NTT DoCoMo's 3G network in Japan. Digital TV services will launch in Japan this spring, DoCoMo says.

(Click for larger view of P901iTV)

Panasonic jointly developed its Linux mobile phone stack with NEC, which also supplies phones for NTT DoCoMo's 3G networks. Panasonic (Matsushita) and NEC have both invested in MontaVista, and use its Linux OS in a variety of mobile phone designs, such as the new dual-mode 902-series DoCoMo phones. DoCoMo is also a MontaVista investor. The P901iTV runs MontaVista Linux, a MontaVista spokesman confirmed.

P901iTV, in black
(Click to enlarge)

NTT DoCoMo says the P901iTV is its first mobile handset to receive terrestrial digital broadcasting signals, as well as conventional analog signals. It says the phone was created “in response to the planned launch of mobile digital broadcasting in April 2006.”

The P901iTV features a 2.5-inch QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) TFT (thin-film transistor) LCD supporting 262K colors. The display actuates the TV receiver when it is pivoted sideways, and the display can also be twisted and folded open against the rest of the wallet-like phone. Panasonic claims that up to three hours of continuous digital TV viewing is possible, or up to one hour of analog TV viewing.

DoCoMo says it will leverage the P901iTV to offer services that “blend mobile communications and broadcastings,” for example by including clickable URLs in TV broadcasts. DoCoMo also last week announced plans to partner with Real Networks on a deal aimed at opening up its content partner ecosystem. Real has long supported technology such as SMIL that lets content creators embed hyperlinks within multimedia content.

Another touted feature of the P901iTV is a swiveling, directional antenna said to free users from having to move the whole phone when seeking better reception. Additionally, users can tune channels directly by pressing the channel number, rather than cycling through stations sequentially as in other designs, NTT DoCoMo boasts.

Additional claimed features and specs include:

  • Comes with removable 512MB miniSD card
  • 4.3 x 2 x 1.1 inches (110 x 51 x 27mm)
  • 5.3 ounces (150 grams)
  • 140 minutes call time
  • 100 minutes TV and phone time
  • 460 hours stationary standby time
  • 350 hours “in motion” standby time
  • Secondary 96 x 24, 0.9-inch STN (super-twisted nematic) display
  • Main camera: Maicovicon with 2.01 megapixel effective resolution
  • Videochat (inner) camera: 110,000 pixel b/w CMOS camera


Panasonic is apparently shipping the P901iTV, although it is not yet listed as available by NTT DoCoMo.

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