RCA intros mobile DTV prototype for serious broadcast addicts

We've heard that people who don't use Netflix or Hulu or who even cable instead rely on television signals that are magically transmitted over the air. Weird, right? RCA thinks that it would be fun to be able to access these signals anywhere, anytime, and has a prototype portable digital TV system with which to do it.

The MIT700 (which stands for, uh, mobile something television that's better than the MIT699) is a mobile digital TV receiver. It's got a 7" screen, a six hour battery, and a cute little butt-mounted antenna that folds up and down. It runs Android and comes with a WiFi connection that allows it to do some basic Internet stuff, but only the most basic. It's best to think of this thing as a TV, and not a tablet.

Of course, what with everyone all hot for tablets nowadays, we made a point of asking RCA what they were thinking making a portable digital TV set. They said that they think people would rather watch TV (as opposed to stream stuff online) if they like news or sports or anything else that happens "live." Somewhat surprisingly, there's a lot of stuff out there. There are more than 120 free digital TV channels across the U.S., and that number has grown by something like 70% over the last year.

On one hand, it's hard to see how DTV can realistically compete with on-demand services, but on the other hand, with DTV there's no streaming data involved, so there are no additional costs or plans or data caps to stress out about. We're not totally convinced that DTV is the future, but it's the present (at least a little bit), and the MIT700 seems like a halfway decent way to access it on the go.

Look for the MIT700 sometime later this year for about $200.

Post on location in Las Vegas at CES 2012


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