Mobile Content Issues Resonate

There was an interesting panel at the iHollywood forum at NAB about the complexities and challenges of putting multimedia content on mobile devices. “Issues range from content size and audio quality to video depth for full-length movies and digital rights management (DRM). Don’t forget about variations in phones built on opposing standards, MediaFLO and DVB-H. The cellular phone handsets require chips that enable carriers to deliver multicast TV signals, rather than point to point. The content designed for large high-definition screen differs from that required on a mobile phone…But problems aren’t limited to size and shots, said Bob Zitter, HBO executive vice president and chief technology officer. “HBO programming has a wide range of dark to light images, and that doesn’t translate well to a portable environment,” he said. “We ran a test version of ‘Deadwood’ on a cell phone, a scene where everyone was sitting around a campfire. All you could see is a little flicker of light.”
There was also some advice given to Nokia that “It’s not good to have the video coming out the front and audio out the back of the handset”…it’s a shame that it had to be elucidated.
None of these problems are insurmountable, they just indicate that mobiles are a new medium and the content has to adjust to that.