- MediaFLO Tests Live TV Broadcast Service In Moving Toyota Vehicles

Matt Kapko
Wednesday, December 17, 2008; 8:00 PM

Qualcomm's MediaFLO subsidiary just completed its first driving test with Toyota, which allows them to broadcast TV to the backseat of cars. The test, conducted in San Diego County, aimed to determine MediaFLO's viability as a live TV service working in actual driving conditions at varying speeds. The programming was transmitted to a vehicle equipped with a MediaFLO phone connected to in-car video displays.

Earlier this year, MediaFLO demonstrated its service in stationary vehicles at a conference. We noticed that while the service offered a familiar programming lineup and menu structure that it uses on cellphones, the picture quality suffered. The reason was that the in-vehicle TV screens use different resolutions than MediaFLO, causing the picture to be stretched and pixilated at times. Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) declined to say whether this latest test with Toyota was done in higher-quality VGA.

It's unclear how much more spectrum MediaFLO would have to use to broadcast in the higher resolution for larger screens, or whether it would make sense if cellphones don't require it, but in-car displays do. The company did just buy a sizable chunk of spectrum in the 700 MHz auction earlier this year, which may allow it to increase its programming lineup or consider broadcasting in a higher resolution. Release.

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