The BBC now streaming live mobile TV

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Only for UK residents (it seems), the BBC has now started streaming live TV for compatible handsets (currently the Nokia N96 and 5800) at mobile resolutions, 24 hours a day. The quality's currently not brilliant, seemingly a frame size of 176 by 144 pixels, though RealPlayer on S60 phones will sample this up to fit, of course. But - it is TV, it is the real deal and you get the full range of BBC channels. including those normally only available via Freeview or cable/Sky. Screenshot proof, link, handy S60 widget and tips, all below.

Either install our handy All About Symbian-made widget (BBCTVlive.wgz, 12k) or point your mobile browser to You'll get an informational message about having to use Wi-Fi, which is fair enough. Hit 'Continue' and you'll see the channel list, as shown below. Hit a channel and you're watching live TV. Note that RealPlayer will show "Buffering 0%" for about 15 seconds before playback starts. This is normal.

BBC TV Live screenshot

BBC TV Live screenshot

Watching on the Nokia 5800, one of the compatible handsets

Thanks to ccraig and others in our news forum for the heads-up.

Compatibility seems limited to the N96 among S60 3rd Edition phones, possibly because of the need for tighter Web/RealPlayer integration (introduced for the N96)

Steve Litchfield, All About Symbian, 3 April 2009