Wireless provider MetroPCS has become the first company in the US to offer a smartphone capable of receiving and streaming free live mobile DTV broadcasts.
Yes, smartphones and tablets that can pick up mobile TV signals are quite common in Asia, but as noted above, the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G is the first smartphone to support mobile TV - full-on - in the United States.
The smartphone - which is available now for a cool $459 - boasts an integrated antenna that can be extended, allowing it to receive specialized TV signals and broadcasts from regular TV towers designed for cell phones.
Fortunately, there is no recurring fee for access to television broadcasts, and of course it is important to note that Mobile DTV signals may not be available in all areas where the phone is sold.
As expected, large urban areas within the United States tend to have multiple mobile DTV stations, with 120 such stations spread out across the continent.
The smartphone operates on the MetroPCS 4G LTE network and runs Android 2.3, a version of the wildly popular mobile operating system which does seem somewhat outdated at this point.
The smartphone also featires a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, integrated Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, a 1 GHz processor, 16 GB memory card, up to 32 GB of external memory and 200 hours of battery standby time. Plus, the phone can be easily transformed into a 4G LTE hotspot.