metro pcs lightray*Metro PCS, besides having the best mobile phone rates in the US of A, also knows what you want in a phone.

That would be a phone that also receives local TV channels, right? Well, read on for the deets, you lucky Metro PCS fan.

In time for the Olympics, MetroPCS is selling the first phone that can receive local TV signals, potentially lending TV stations some relevance in the age of the smartphone.

MetroPCS Communications, the country’s fifth-largest cell phone company, started selling the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G for $459 on Friday. It has a built-in, extendable antenna that can receive special TV signals, broadcast from regular TV towers for reception by cell phones and other small gadgets.

The phone costs about $200 more than the equivalent phone without TV reception, but there’s no recurring TV fee.

It’s technically difficult to get phones to tune in to regular broadcasts destined for TV sets. Instead, the Samsung phones receive special “Mobile DTV” signals. They’re retransmissions of the main broadcast channels, but at a lower resolution and separate from the cellular network.

Dallas-based MetroPCS is the only major U.S. cell phone company to support Mobile DTV. Verizon and AT&T used to sell phones that received subscription-based national channels, but that network was shut down last year for lack of consumer interest.

There are 120 Mobile DTV stations in the country. In New York, there are four, and in Chicago, five. NBC, which is broadcasting the Olympics, is a supporter of Mobile DTV, and local NBC stations are available in many cities.

Read/learn more at CED Magazine.