@ MES: Mobile TV and Video Panel

This panel wasn’t earth-shattering, but there were some interesting tidbits. It included John Burris from Sprint, Thomas Ellsworth from GoTV, Stanley Fertig from HBO, Ryan Hughes from Verizon, John Puterbaugh from Nellymoser, Bob Shallow from Mobile DTV, Dave Whetstone from MobiTV and was moderated by Michael Stroud from iHollywood Forum. There was a bit of back and forth about what the best format for mobile TV and video is…
“Everything we’ve seen viewed on mobile content is short,” said Stanley. “This is worldwide. There are enough large screens (tv) that if you want to see something you can get to a large screen. We don’t think that mobile video is “appointment viewing”.” He then went on to ask why would anyone spend a lot of time and money deploying networks that aimed to deliver that to mobiles, a fairly solid body blow to DVB-H and MediaFLO.
Bob jumped to the defence of broadcast technology (DVB-H in particular, of course), saying that content dictated the view times of people. He cited experience in Europe, saying: “Sitcoms don’t get extended viewtimes, but a live sport event will get longer view times. There are definitely genres that capitalize on this technology…”
Ryan responded for MediaFLO: “Multicasting is not TV on your phone, it’s a lot better than TV…you can offer long-form tv shows where people are able to dip in and out”.
A particularly interesting comment that was brought up was that the definition of mobile tv is about to make a leap to include laptops, so the screen is not going to always stay the tiny size of a mobile screen. At least formating for laptops will be a lot easier than for all the different handsets. User-generated content was brought up, and the biggest issue raised against it is the number of different formats video has to be converted to in order to gain a significant audience. Pod2Mob is trying to solve this problem, funding the enterprise through advertising on the video blogs posted through its service.
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