Mobile TV: What happened to DVB-H?

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DVB-H Nokia

DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast – Handheld) is a mobile broadcast technology that allows for the digital terrestrial broadcast of live television channels to a mobile phone. Years ago, DVB-H was the buzz for mobile television, but only a few mobile manufacturers got on board the train years ago. And only Nokia and ZTE kept the pace going long after others had walked away. But with the death of Symbian, even Nokia has abandoned the technology and no longer makes DVB-H phones.

What I am wondering is why the technology is not being seen on more devices, perhaps especially on devices like tablets that lend themselves better to multimedia consumption. At the moment, users who want mobile TV service on their tablets and smartphones have to buy a plug-in accessory e.g. like DStv’s Drifta or Nokia’s SU-33W to do so. Drifta itself is a DVB-H device, so the technology is very much alive. Drifta receives a DVB-H signal, then channels it to your device via Wi-Fi or USB. Long journey. Why not just put the technology directly in those devices?

While subscribers on mobile broadband services can stream television shows, the beauty of DVB-H is that it does not use a data plan. Simply subscribe to the service and enjoy available TV stations without a care about data consumption.


  1. Hmmmm. I still have my Symbian powered 808PV with me here and I know nothing about this facility. How do I subscribe to make use of this tech?

  2. I used this technology for more than 1 year with MTN on my N8. I enjoyed it so much.

    There was a thread for the tech and headset on nairaland. Some of us collaborated and ordered the su-33w receiver from south africa. This was before DSTV now released their walka/drifta device. We also had to install a special app on our Symbian phones. This app was hard to get, as Nokia removed it from the Ovi store, but we still found it. lol

    I remember that app gave me a lot of trouble because I had to format and reset my N8 several times. That was also a period of excessive ROM flashing on the poor phone too. hahaha

    Good times…I just searched my email account for correspondence with other users. I bought my receiver in early 2011, and finally sold it around June 2012.

  3. The phones with DVB H inbuilt do not receive any channel packages from their network service providers, why?

    Has the service been discontinued in Ghana?

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