SNL on your phone is not so ‘live’


Not much is better than watching Will Ferrell, waist-high in a hot tub cracking himself up during an Saturday Night Live skit. I just watched the 2-minute long clip on Cingular’s video service, which Cingular and SNL officially announced today. While the content and concept are great, there are sometimes glitches in the delivery.

While I was watching a series of SNL clips on a cell phone, every 20 seconds or so the video stops while the service is “buffering.” It could be because everyone is watching those clips right now because of the PR, but if the service is always like this? No thank you. The network I’m running it over is even billed as 3G.

This is where mobile video will run up against problems as the services become more popular. And it’s basically the problem that online video sites have, but times 10.

Nowadays online video sites have companies like Akamai that can make viewing videos on the web a much better experience. The pipes for mobile video are just that much harder to manage because the market is a lot newer and the network connections are slower.

Already, though, there are companies like Ortiva Wireless that are billing themselves as the first mobile content delivery networks. If Ortiva can do what Akamai and others have done for online video, they’ll likely go far. Or at least make SNL skits watchable on my phone.

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