Why Mobile TV?

from the what's-the-benefit? dept

There are so many mobile TV efforts underway these days, that it seems odd that the real use case hasn't been outlined. A few months back, I wrote why it seemed unclear why mobile TV would be a very big market and now Mobile Pipeline has a similar article noting that mobile TV seems to fail on two criteria that seem to explain why mobile applications are successful. First, video isn't a mobile application. There doesn't seem to be a huge advantage to being mobile and watching video. This is especially true in an age of TiVo. Second, it doesn't fit with the device or the activity. Watching TV on a tiny screen doesn't seem all that appealing and it's difficult if not impossible to do while actually moving. The thing that has always struck me about mobile TV is that it really doesn't provide much that's new in a way that provides value. I don't need to watch TV now because my DVR is recording stuff back home. Also, if I'm out and about, I'm out and about doing something, not watching TV. Obviously, there are some cases where these faults don't necessarily apply -- such as commuting on public transportation, or viewing video in the backseat of a car. However, are those markets really so big as to justify some of the investments being made in mobile TV? Again, it always seems to come back to a single issue: mobile devices are primarily communications devices, not broadcast devices -- and most of the mobile TV efforts seem heavily focused on simply moving the TV broadcast experience to the phone -- which just doesn't seem that compelling.

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  1. identicon
    Beck, 15 Feb 2005 @ 1:38pm

    One Application

    I had a small Sony Watchman. The only place I ever used it was at football and baseball games so that I could see replays via the network broadcasts of the games. I suppose that application still applies, although they show a lot of replays on the stadium scoreboard screens now.

    The difference with the new wireless mobile TV concept is that you would not be picking up over-the-air television signals, and I would guess that MLB, NFL etc will probably want to charge a fee for the ability to view the games.

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