AT&T and Samsung have announced the Access, Samsung's first handset to support AT&T Mobile TV. Both the phone and AT&T's new mobile television service will be available in May.
Access is a candybar handset with a 2.3" landscape display, stereo speakers and stereo Bluetooth support, and a 1.3MP camera that supports video recording and AT&T's Video Share videoconferencing service. The quad-band GSM device also supports 3G high speed data over AT&T's network, including the company's Mobile Music service.
Honestly this phone perplexes me a little. For AT&T and Sammy's first Mobile TV phone it looks a bit ill-cast for the part. Samsung makes great handsets, don't get me wrong, but I was expecting something more of the giant, widescreen display variety for a TV phone. Must be that AT&T wanted something lower-end in the TV-capable lineup to balance the forthcoming LG Vu.
AT&T TV will feature a bunch of channels that may sound familiar to Sprint TV and Verizon VCAST TV regulars as well as two exclusives. One of the exclusives was revealed today as PIX, a Sony offering devote to showing feature films on cellphones. Hmm. But wait, there's more: The films will be shown broadcast-style, without pause or fast-forward/rewind controls. Hmm. Feature films on a 2.3" screen with no way to pause or rewind?
According to Sony Pictures Television VP of Mobile Entertainment Eric Berger the goal isn't to get you to stare at a tiny screen for 90 minutes, however. "We recognize that people are on the go with their mobile phone and coming and going," he said. "This isn't for people looking to view a movie for the first time. It's OK to miss the beginning."
Actually, I can see that, especially given the lineup of movies like "The Karate Kid," "Ghostbusters," "Philadelphia" and "Stand by Me." These are films that folks I know have already seen at least once and wouldn't mind catching a few minutes of on their cell phone en route from here to there. Well, except maybe for "Philadelphia." Nothing against the movie - I'm just tired of Tom Hanks. Where'd the guy from "Bosom Buddies" and "Big" go? He's all Mr. Serious Hollywood guy now, hangin' out with Steven Spielberg all the time. I want the old Tom Hanks back! With the old Darryl Hannah in a mermaid suit, too, please.