Sure, Give Us Mobile TV — Just Don't Expect Us To Pay

from the if-you're-going-to-give-us-what-we-don't-want... dept

While wireless companies have been absolutely drooling over the prospect of moving broadcast television to mobile phones, many people have been asking why? People buy phones to communicate, not consume content. Even if some analysts claim that anyone who doesn’t believe mobile broadcast TV is the “killer app” for TV is just a naysayer, it seems like worthwhile naysaying. There’s little evidence for a strong pent up demand for people to watch TV on the go. Especially in an age of TiVo when people can time shift their viewing habits, live TV takes on lower importance. As we watch initial efforts at mobile TV in Korea it seems like the reaction is mixed. Certainly some people are interested, but it’s hardly causing people to break down the doors. The fact is, mobile TV seems like a “nice to have” — which is hardly the description of “the killer app.” Certainly it might be nice to have it during a commute or to kill downtime, but it’s likely to be a secondary function on the phone to communicating. More people will want a phone that handles the talking and texting party well than lets them watch TV well. In fact, a new survey supports this idea by showing that people would watch broadcast TV on their phones — they just wouldn’t pay for it. Again, this certainly suggests we’re well outside of killer app territory.

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Comments on “Sure, Give Us Mobile TV — Just Don't Expect Us To Pay”

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dorpus says:

Small TV's anyone?

Portable TV sets the size of a brick were available in the 1980s, and people predicted that we would have millions of tiny TV’s everywhere in the future. They’re not being sold anymore, at least I haven’t seen one anywhere recently. The opposite has happened, with a demand for huge TV sets. In the future, will people demand extra-large cell phones that can blast entire city blocks with ring tones?

Donald Jessop says:

What about the battery?

I don’t know about everyone else, but my cell phone probably does not contain enough power to watch the news on the way to work and then the news on the way home. (I take the bus, so don’t worry about my driving. 🙂 )

The only TV shows I watch are TV shows that my wife is interested in as well, so I would probably be watching the news. But two hours of broadcast TV on my cell phone? My battery would be dead. I can theoretically talk for four hours on my phone, but I think that receiving broadcast signals and then displaying them on the tiny screen would be more energy consuming than calling my wife. Do I want to charge up my phone twice a day? Hell, no!!!

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