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It’s far from perfect but it isn’t bad: a new commercial broadcast mobile TV service was launched just in time for the World Cup soccer tournament taking place in Germany through July 9.

This reporter managed to get his fingers on one of the handsets being used for the commercial service, based on the DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcast) standard — and also on a prototype device being passed around to demonstrate service with the rival DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld) standard.

Both handsets, the DMB-based SGH-P900 from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and the prototype DVB-H device from Siemens AG, were provided by T-Systems International GmbH, which offers broadcast infrastructure for both services.

In a last-minute deal, Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland GmbH (MFD) secured spectrum from local media authorities to broadcast TV signals to mobile phones using the DMB standard. MFD is collaborating with mobile phone service provider Debitel AG, which launched commercial service on May 31 in several cities, including eight of the twelve hosting the World Cup games. The service is available for