Why Do People Want To Watch TV On A Mobile Phone?

from the the-big-question:-why? dept

I’ve been asking for a while now, why would anyone want to watch TV on their mobile phones as it reminds me of those portable TVs that were (barely) sold in the 80s and never went anywhere. Add to that, ridiculously slow frame rates, and you have to wonder why anyone bothers. However, Sprint is claiming that they have “steady demand” for their MobiTV offering, which lets people watch TV in slide-show fashion (between 1 and 2 frames per second). Peter Lewis, from Fortune Magazine, decided to test out the service and has a less than kind review of the service. After using it for a while, he says: “The hard part is answering the question, Why?” He concludes that the “experience is basically like watching a tiny, blurry slide show, with lousy sound.” Sounds compelling. However, some people seem to be using it, and as the technology gets better, Sprint (and others) expect more people to be staring at their mobile phone screens all the time. I can maybe see it catching on for live events (sporting events, live reality TV possibly, major breaking news…) but other than that, I really do wonder if people will really go for this, or if it’s just a fad (like the portable TVs in the 80s). Especially with the ability of TiVo to record shows that you want to see when you’re out and about, there are fewer reasons why someone needs to be watching TV right this very second. Thus, the only remaining use is to kill time while you’re waiting for something – and TV in its 30 minute increments isn’t the greatest solution for trying to kill five minutes.

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Comments on “Why Do People Want To Watch TV On A Mobile Phone?”

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Derek Lomas says:


No reason to bother with framerates. In a year and a half, there will be dozens of stations broadcasting terrestrial digital TV. One HDTV channel could serve close to 20 mobile channels, with a significantly smaller screen. Combined with a Tivo-type pvr, the moble phone will just scoop news and other relevant broadcast feeds for your supreme convenience. NEC and Samsung already manufacture phones with digital TV chips. Wait for more.

mail me to talk more about the issue

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