Having a VGA-resolution camcorder on your smartphone is pretty cool in itself, but the uses for the Nokia N93 just keep on coming... and remember that the same will apply to the Nokia N95 as well when it arrives, and presumably to other future Nseries devices with TV-out.
TV-out has got quite a few people thinking. In case you haven't been keeping up to date, it's a special graphics chip and companion utility on the N93 that lets you connect the smartphone using the supplied 'composite' cable to any TV or audiovisual device. Its aim is to let you demo your photos and videos on a large screen, but it also has a few extra uses:
- Games Console
You're at your mate's house and the two of you are bored with his old PlayStation games. But hey, you've got Snakes, Oval Racer and System Rush and half a dozen other titles loaded on your N93. Again, just plug in via composite lead or SCART to his TV, switch the N93 to landscape mode and use the navigator key as your in-game d-pad, watching and playing the games together on his 24" wide-screen TV
- Laptop computer
You're in a hotel room on business. Armed with a Bluetooth keyboard (come on, you know you've got one in your briefcase), you connect the N93 to the room's TV using the composite cable (with SCART adapter if needed). You can then word process, respond to emails and type in Notes, using its full size keys and the large TV screen as your monitor:
- Music centre
At a hotel or relative's house, you'd like to play some of your favourite music. You plug your N93 into the phono sockets on the back of their midi system or TV and start Pink Floyd/Chopin/Sinatra (delete where applicable, depending on age) playing in Music player. Decent music fills the room, in stereo and in high quality, driven from your N93:
- Web terminal
At home in your living room, your partner wants you to look something up on the web but your PC's upstaairs in the office and it's turned off. Rather than wait for it to spin up, you plug the N93 into your TV and you're off, instantly, surfing on the largest web browser screen you've ever seen. Also extremely useful when away from home, it's (to quote Nokia's PR) 'the world in your pocket':
- Video-conferencing system
At work, your team are trying to liase with another team on the other side of the country. Progress over a landline speakerphone is proving slow, so you set up your N93, plugged into the meeting room's TV, and establish a 3G video call to your opposite number with a 3G phone at the other end. The TV image fills with the scene at the other site and you can all see and talk to each other - the meeting ends far more successfully.
- Video/audio demonstration system
Either for business, playing back a prepared MP4 video or scrolling through static slides, or for home use playing back videos (or photos) recorded using the camcorder of a day trip that you've just come back from, it's really cool to use the N93 as a control centre, with images and videos appearing full-screen on the TV even though they're in gallery mode on the device.
and for pleasure...
I'm sure other uses for TV-out will occur to you. Ideas on a postcard... What is clear is that having TV-out graphics capability is a major step forwards, especially considering the 'multimedia computer' tag that Nokia are applying to their Nseries products. TV-out opens up all sorts of possibilities for those that like to keep a powerhouse in their pocket.
Steve Litchfield, 30th November 2006