LG Electronics phone tunes in TV

The handset can play broadcasts for two and a half hours continuously, the company said.

LG Electronics is bringing digital TV to those on the go.

The South Korean electronics giant earlier this month showed off its terrestrial digital media broadcast-receiving mobile phone.

Digital media broadcasting is a way of capturing digital broadcasts while moving. LG Electronics will include the technology in upscale TV phones and in car TVs. The governments of both South Korea and Japan are trying to encourage local expertise in the field.

The phone the company showed off can play broadcasts for two and a half hours continuously, LG Electronics said. Users can also make calls while watching broadcasts.

The chip inside the phone was developed by LG Electronics and can process audio, video and broadcast reception all at the same time.

The company did not release pricing information for the device.

"The terrestrial DMB phone that we developed has superiority in capacity, function, size, and convenience in use," said Ahn Seung-Gweun, a vice president at LG Electronics. "We will get power in the market by upgrading broadcast receiving and battery capacity continuously."

The TV phone is following a well-trod path from oddity to commodity. When TV phones first debuted, customers complained about the high costs. Watching a 90-minute soccer match cost $260, because the TV signals were carried over cellular networks. In the phones now coming to market, TV reception is obtained through a tuner. Samsung plans to come out with a DMB phone for satellite TV next year, as does its Japanese rival Sanyo.

Kim Yong-Young of ZDNet Korea reported from Seoul.