In a demo that was a cross between a waiting room at a dentist's office and a frat party aboard a gigantic limousine, Samsung proved to us that its latest Advanced-VSB (A-VSB) system to bring mobile TV to North America kicks serious ass. As the luxo-bus rambled all over Las Vegas for more than an hour, we watched TV. That's right.
Placed side-by size in the back of this party bus was one screen showing the old-style 8-VSB system now popular in Korea, next to another screen with Samsung's A-VSB video playing on it in half-stream and quarter-stream varieties. They were receiving their signal over channel 22, broadcast by a Vegas TV station using existing facilities. Of course, the A-VSB was actually watchable, looking sharp and reasonably clear while the old-timey 8-VSB was nothing but a series of frame drops and pixelization. Good demo.
The Samsungians also passed around a few porto-TVs, too, to show us the quarter-rate Mobile Stream, which also looked crispy-clean albeit with a frame drop or two. Look for this tech soon on an iPod near you. When? Samsung hopes we'll see it here in the States by the time that analog TV cutoff happens in February, 2009.