TV On Your Mobile Phone?

from the going-a-bit-far dept

For all the hype and tests about interactive TV over the years, it appears the best way to do interactive TV completely crept up on TV producers: using mobile phones and text messaging as a way to interact with televsion programming has been a huge success. This is true even in the US (American Idol) where mobile messaging is still in its early stages. In retrospect, this makes a lot of sense. Figuring out the input device for interactive TV was always something of a pain. Viewers didn’t want an extra keyboard or (yet another) special remote, and didn’t know where to leave such things. However, most people keep their mobile phones with them at all times – and are increasingly used to using it. Of course, it’s no surprise that people are taking this one success and trying to stretch it much further by trying to figure out how to now offer actual TV content on a mobile phone. I’ve been hearing about this for years, and am not convinced, at all, that this is a viable market. The article says they’re focused on shows that have high demand – like popular reality TV shows and soap operas. The type of shows that people like to talk about at work the next day. I just don’t see the TV viewing experience on a mobile phone being all that compelling. I remember when the first handheld TVs came out, and a friend of mine got one. It was cool for a few days as a novelty item – but the thrill quickly wore off, and the TV sat around collecting dust. As more people start getting TiVo-type devices, the demand for TV on the mobile phone decreases as well. Once again, it seems like something where someone is taking a success in one area (mobile texting for interactive TV) and stretching it far beyond what it really means.

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Comments on “TV On Your Mobile Phone?”

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whit says:

Tivo and mobile taste great together?

I could see being interested in video broadcast to a cellphone to a limited degree — news, perhaps, or the sorts of shows that they’re talking about; if you’re carrying your phone anyway, you might sit in the airport, coffee shop, what-have-you and watch something simply because you have the ability to do so. Like the televisions on airplanes — watch because it’s there and you already finished the book that you have with you.

What would be a lot more interesting to me, though, would be a tivo-like appliance that works with a video-capable cellphone. You store the shows that you want to watch, and have them available wherever you happen to be.

Hmmm…that could be kind of interesting, actually…the tivo-device could potentially record any TV program and take care of the issues surrounding phone-appropriate delivery (data compression, stream rates, all the stuff I haven’t though of yet, etc.). Would be extremely complex, but kind of cool…

Anybody want to get together and write a business plan? 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Tivo and mobile taste great together?

It’s called SnapStream, and with the PocketPVS software, you can do just that. It’s for PocketPC’s right now, but for some bleeding edgers who use PocketPC Phone Edition, it’s your dream come true. As phone operating systems and onboard memory get more advanced (Nokia Series 60), it’s only a matter of time for this to be available. And the best part is that no MegaCorp is involved to squeeze a monthly fee out of you (just Snapstream, your PC and your mobile device).

whit says:

Re: Re: Tivo and mobile taste great together?

It’s called SnapStream, and with the PocketPVS software, you can do just that.

Close, but from a quick review of the SnapStream site, I’m not sure it’s entirely there…yet…

It appears that SnapStream can use 802.11, ethernet, or HPNA to broadcast content to any device on its network, and make use of a variety of devices for remote programming of the app, but they haven’t (again, yet, at least) got the “broadcast to your device wherever you are” aspect that intrigues me. Closer, though — thanks for the pointer.

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