Telegent, Arima Enable SMS-Driven Interactive TV on Mobile Phones

--Functionality Intended for Phones that Support Reception of Free-to-Air TV

Telegent, a Silicon Valley-based company that offers single-chip solutions for mobile TV, and Arima, a Taiwanese mobile handset ODM company, announced Tuesday that Arima has enhanced its design for a Telegent-powered mobile handset capable of receiving free-to-air TV, so that the design now allows users to send and receive SMS messages while watching live, free broadcast TV. The companies say that the new SMS-TV feature, which is slated for commercial availability in handset designs this summer, is targeted at consumers who want to chat with one another while watching TV shows or who want to interact with participation TV shows through voting or polling.

The companies--which are touting the new design as providing "a way to take the interactive TV viewing experience mobile" and "an integrated platform for both viewing and interacting with favorite programs"--say that the design will also enable operators to use free-to-air mobile TV to generate revenue from related pay-per-call phone services. "Free-to-air TV handsets are extremely popular with consumers in our core markets," Arima VP, Stephen Hung, said in a prepared statement. "In Latin America and other regions, operators are adding TV handsets to their portfolios to meet this demand and differentiate their offerings. If a consumer is watching soccer and can send an SMS to a friend about the game, this interactive action can drive revenue for the operator and increases the value of the free-to-air TV feature."

According to Telegent and Arima, when the new SMS-TV feature is activated, it automatically scales the mobile handset's TV screen to accommodate an SMS message window beneath the video image. The companies say that the feature can be implemented in both low-cost and "feature" phone models.

North America