Sony Japan announced a tiny TV tuner that can be built into handhelds and mobile phones.
According to Reuters, the tuner module will be smaller than a postage stamp and use less power than other options.
This module will not use analog TV signals. Instead, it will make use of digital broadcast signals that are starting to go into widespread use around the world.
Sony will have samples of this tuner ready in December for companies to start testing out. It is not known when products making use of it will start to appear.
It is also not known what companies are interested in releasing devices with this module. However, with Sony’s emphasis on the multimedia capabilities of its handhelds, it seems likely a future Clie model will include a TV tuner.
Sony showed a mockup of a TV tuner Memory Stick at CeBIT this spring, but the company said this was simply a product it was exploring and it declined to say whether this might ever be released.
Earlier this week, Sony began offering in the U.S. a small device that can record TV programs onto a Memory Stick in a format suitable for playing on a handheld.