Challenges For Mobile TV

Mobile TVMobile TV is still the talk of the town, although there’s still a fair way to go before we have flawless commercial services — outside of Japan and Sth Korea, at least. Alon Ironi, chief executive of Siano Mobile Silicon, predicts the market won’t really get going next year: “A lot of the top-tier companies are starting their [mobile-TV handset] designs now for the second half of 2006.” Next year, said Ironi, “is mainly about pilots; 2007 will be the real ramp of the market.” This quote is from an Infoweek article which covers the technical aspects of mobile TV, such as screens and battery life, and how they will effect the commercial timing.

VNUnet has run a piece about pricing structures for mobile TV based on comments by Bena Roberts from Current Analysis, who claims that “the user experience is secondary to the fashion statement of having TV on the mobile device”. Roberts argues that the best way to charge users for mobile TV is to bundle it with their 3G service, so it appears they’re getting it for free.
“Consumers tend to shy away from monthly subscription plans on top of existing fees because of the charges. Pay-as-you-go plans, on the other hand, make users fear their bill at the end of the month. A better option, according to Roberts, is to bundle mobile TV with 3G subscription plans. “This way, users simply ‘get’ free mobile TV,” he explained.”

The Chicago Tribune has compared the criticisms that no-one will want to watch TV on a mobile screen to the ones that were levelled at television when it first came out and suggests an answer as to why anyone would want to do so: “The answer is control, just as it was 50 years ago”.
It then goes on to the differences…”Here’s why portable video is so cool: It changes us, but more important, we can change it. Don’t like what you’re watching on your cell phone? Grab your digital camcorder and make your own show. Companies called aggregators are gathering as much video as they can to get airtime on mobile phone networks. They are striking deals with independent producers, sharing any revenue without taking away any rights. Some of the stuff they’re sifting through isn’t interesting: high school football games, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” rejects, class video projects, shorts created by video game owners who have used the games’ characters and sets to make mini-movies…But like the earliest prospectors, they’re looking for gold among the dreck before word gets out and the gold rush is on. And that’s the point: Portable video gives the best of these clips a home. The same people who dismiss this democratization of video misunderstood the power of blogs and podcasts to blur the lines between spectator and creator.”
Related stories:
Mobile TV: Vivendi Urges Clarification On French Rules
KBS To Start Mobile TV In Korea
Mobile Video Revolution