CES: RCA to launch portable TVs that pick up standard and mobile DTV channels


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RCA said at Tuesday’s CES Unveiled event in Las Vegas that it would launch a line of portable TVs that could pick up both standard over-the-air and mobile digital signals.

Mobile DTV was a major theme of last year’s CES, but few manufactures ended up releasing mobile DTV products. Spokesman Chris S. Lee said the RCA devices would ship to Radio Shack in the first quarter, then to other retailers.


RCA’s portable viewers -- a line of three TVs along with a mobile DTV receiver to be used in automobiles -- make use of the mobile DTV standard overseen by the Open Mobile Video Coalition, as well as standard broadcast channels, the company said in a statement.

The portable TVs, which will be offered in 3.5-inch and 7-inch screen sizes, will be battery operated.

Mobile DTV so far has failed to gain much traction, though RCA seems to believe there is a market for such products.

In October, a rival digital TV standard known as Flo TV was canceled by San Diego’s Qualcomm Inc., known for its processors for the telecommunications industry.

Flo TV was a subscription-based mobile TV service that used broadcast signals to bring cable and network content to its mobile devices. Qualcomm also halted production of its 3.5-inch-screen Flo TV that sold for $249. The device was on the market for about a year. Flo TV programming is set to end sometime this spring.

RCA said each of its three mobile DTV sets features a signal strength indicator, closed captioning, ‘easel-back’ stand and English or Spanish display options. The product line includes:


3.5-inch Hybrid Portable Television -- Model DMT335R (suggested retail price $109) features a LED-backlit LCD screen and runs on AA batteries.

3.5-inch Hybrid Portable Television -- Model DMT336R (suggested retail price $149), has a widescreen LED-backlit LCD display, FM radio reception and an internal battery.

7-inch Hybrid Portable Television -- Model DMT270R (suggested retail price $169), features an 800x480 ‘high resolution’ widescreen LCD display, an internal battery and a 360-degree adjustable antenna.

Pocket Mobile DTV Car Tuner Receiver -- Model DMT3BR (suggested retail price $119) is ‘smaller than a deck of cards,’ powered by a car charger, uses a monopole antenna and comes with a remote control.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photos from top: RCA Model DMT270R 7-inch mobile DTV set, RCA Model DMT335R 3.5-inch mobile DTV set, RCA Model DMT336R 3.5-inch mobile DTV set; RCA Model DMT3BR car reciver. Credit: RCA