Linux box shifts media from TV to mobile phone

Japanese company aims to make life simple for phone users

Japanese phones

Until the iPhone came along last year, getting media on and off mobile phones was mostly a hit-and-miss affair that relied more on luck than commonsense.

The latest attempt to change that comes in the surprising shape of a set-top box from Japan's number two mobile carrier.

Tune in

KDDI's 'au BOX' hits the market in November for ¥315 (£1.60) a month, offering subscribers to its mobile phones the opportunity to fill their handsets with media via the TV set.

Instead of using a PC and some kind of iTunes-like software to move movies and music to phones, the au BOX enables the TV as a web browser and prepares anything downloaded from au's various media services for transfer to a phone.

Unified bill

The Linux-based machine also has a DVD drive and can rip films and music CDs into a phone-compatible format too. Once done, it's a simple matter of connecting box and handset via USB for a quick mobile media hit.

Making things as simple as possible for users, au then charges everything to the monthly mobile bill to form a single payment.