Mobile technology company ROK Entertainment has revealed plans to launch a set-top box that will relay TV programmes from a consumer's living room to their mobile phone, with no additional subscription cost involved. All the consumer needs, in addition to the box, dubbed the 'BLCX', is a broadband connection, which the box will use to beam the signal to the consumer's phone. ROK says the service will work "on the majority of new smartphones" and has promised to supply Mobile Marketing with a list of compatible handsets in the next couple of days. Users will also be able to change channels from their mobile.
With the World Cup in mind, ROK is planning a 1 June launch for the device - the tournament kicks off on the 9th - which will sell for around 250, and will also be available to rent for around 12 a month.
"It seemed to us that delivery of the World Cup matches live to mobile phones would be a fantastic opportunity for the development of mobile TV services" says ROK CEO and Chairman, Jonathan Kendrick. "But it now appears that only edited highlights of the matches are to be made available, mainly for people on 3G, and even then on a pay-per-view basis. That seemed terribly limited to us, so we set out to develop BLCX to enable people to watch all their home TV channels live, whenever and wherever they wish on their mobiles."
According to ROK, anyone with a broadband connection can plug the BLCX into their TV and watch whichever channels they have at home, live and in full, almost wherever they are. If the user is in a Wi-Fi zone, or within 10m of a broadband connection, ROK BLCX streams the TV programme wirelessly to the mobile, exactly like VoIP. If the user is not within 10m of a broadband connection, but within 2.5G GPRS coverage, it streams via GPRS from the nearest node.
Undoubtedly, for many consumers, the most appealing part of the service will be the fact that there are no additional subscription charges involved.
"All BLCX does is to throw your home TV to your mobile phone" says ROK Marketing Director, Bruce Renny. "After all, you've paid for the TV you receive at home already. It's yours. You're just choosing to watch what you've paid for away from home through the ROK Black Box. BLCX will throw every channel - Sky included, if you have Sky at home - to your phone, wherever you are. It's a marvellous piece of kit."
We'll be road testing a BLCX as soon as we can get our hands on one.