Wireless Video? It’s Hard To See It

Mobile video services from three US carriers (Cingular, Sprint, Verizon) have been compared and found wanting. Although Sprint was judged the best service the reviewer felt that all the offerings charged too much and delivered too little. After complaining about “video shorts on often fuzzy screens that one senses do more damage to the eyes each time you watch” it’s pointed out you need a new phone to access the services…but people buy new phones on a frequent basis anyway so that’s not much of an issue.
Some specific complaints:
“Over the course of several days, the content rarely changed. So if you spent an hour on the train one day watching video, you’d be hard pressed to fill another hour the next day with fresh material.”
This is a legitimate — and surprising — complaing. I would figure the content would be updated at least daily.
“Cingular’s HBO content was disappointing, particularly since it costs $4.99 on top of $19.99 for the video service…There are clips from HBO’s hit shows; but if you’re a fan of those shows, you would recognize the clips as several seasons old.”
I can almost hear the TechDirt guys on their familiar spiel that content isn’t made more special just by putting it on mobile. If you want to put on old clips to get people interested in the service that’s a good idea — but don’t charge five bucks for the service. If you’re going to charge that amount of money it needs good, new content that has been made for the mobile device. Content exclusive to mobiles wouldn’t go astray either. A comment made in the article about a specific mobile video service can be applied to the whole industry: “some kinks need to be ironed out”.
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