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TV On Mobiles: Not Yet There?

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the many-different-takes-on-this dept.

Media (Apple) 232

rustbear writes "It seems that perhaps Apple did their homework when they decided to downplay the video capabilities of the new iPod. The Guardian reports that "Most [British] people have no desire to watch television on mobile phones, preferring to use home computers to watch TV while on the internet, according to new research. Although 65% of British consumers surveyed cite the mobile phone as their most desired gadget, 70% of mobile owners said they did not want to watch television on their phone at all. Nearly 45% of consumers said they would watch TV on their home computer, because it enabled them to choose what they wanted to watch and when." Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?"

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Nokia N92, DVB-H and the Market (5, Interesting)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969583)

Interesting that this ties in with last week's announcment of the Nokia N92 [] - a 3G phone with a built-in digital TV tuner. The tuner requires a DVB-H signal to receive broadcasts, which is a variation of the DVB-T system used for digital TV in Europe and almost everywhere in the world except the US and Canada. It's a good technical solution, in a large but very capable 3G handset.

The problem? Well, currently nobody really has a DVB-H network apart from a few trial areas in a handful a major cities. I understand that it's not too expensive to piggy-back DVB-H onto a DVB-T infrastructure, but it's still an expense.

Nokia are certainly taking a risk, but you know that's what business is about. Most consumers these days are demanding camera phones, for example, but a couple of years ago that wasn't even something that most handset manufacturers would have thought of. A lot of technlogies are like that - nobody really knows if the market wants them because they represent something new and untested.

Personally.. well, I'm the kind of geek who would sooner be surfing the web than watching TV, but I understand that watching TV is quite popular. Only the market can really decide if the concept is going to be a success.

North America different yet again (4, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970062)

Offtopic but I'll ask anyway, since the previous post prompted me to ask the question...

DVB-H, DVB-T...GSM, CDMA...110V/60Hz, 220V/50Hz...why does there always seem to be a slight yet significant difference in what should otherwise be a universal te3chnology when it comes to the North American and the rest of the world?

Two different types of digital broadcast television, so global electronics manufacturers have to build two different types of equipment or build in the capability to accept either one.

GSM, a GLOBAL standard for cellphone technology, yet the US is quite late to adopt it in favor of CDMA (coincidentally, patented by a US company, Qualcomm.) Granted that CDMA is superior in some respects (power requirements and bandwidth come to mind) but why be a telecommunications island?

Basic electricity...ok, most modern devices can accept 110 or 220 vac, 50 or 60 Hz, but again, why did it have to be different? 220 vac would make more sense, as the same amount of power can be delivered with less current and less heat loss, but 110 vac may be safer due to the lower voltage...

I fully admit that I don't have all the technical details, and probably live in my own utopian world where everybody has the same electricity and everybody can roam on anybody else's cellphone network without needing a phone capable of three or four different frequency bands, but sometimes I think that the differences are more political and territorial than technical. (US GSM at 1900 MHz where the rest of the world uses 900/1800 MHz?)

Re:North America different yet again (2, Funny)

Fallus Shempus (793462) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970134)

but 110 vac may be safer due to the lower voltage...

It's not the voltage that does damage, it's the current.
High voltage stuff is fun (spark plug leads in cars etc),
Been fried loads of times and it never ...

... Antiseptic wipes

Where to watch TV (4, Funny)

ReeferCpe (613569) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969593)

The only place I'd use a call phone to watch tv is on the jon.. while at work.

biggest problem (2, Insightful)

jzeejunk (878194) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969599)

is that movie/ipod-likes screens are too small - 1. strain on eyes and 2. not many people can watch together

Re:biggest problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969678)

Once they find a way to put a video projector in a phone the sky will be the limit.

Re:biggest problem (4, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969721)

is that movie/ipod-likes screens are too small - 1. strain on eyes and 2. not many people can watch together

1. Hold it closer to your face. At the distance most people hold a paperback novel, it would be about the same relative "size" as looking at a 20" TV set from accross a small living room, which was actually a fairly typical viewing experience once upon a time.

2. Nobody else can hear the sound on your earphones anyway.

I think the video on the iPod is not really all that impressive of a feature, but some of the criticisms of it are downright silly.

Re:biggest problem (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969819)

I think the video on the iPod is not really all that impressive of a feature, but some of the criticisms of it are downright silly.
And this poll proves nothing. Had they asked, "are you interested in listening to music on your cellphone?" my guess is most people would not be. I think the percentage of people who use their cellphones for music listening is tiny. Does that prove anything about the market for the (audio) iPod?

Re:biggest problem (1)

David Horn (772985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970016)

Most people over 40 can't focus at distances close to their face, so they do get eye strain.

I find it remarkably easy to put movies on my phone - Pocket DVD Studio will rip a DVD and compress it to an XVid file, and then it's just a matter of copying it to the phone's memory card.

Mine will handle a 320x240 video encoded at 450kb/s with no problem whatsoever.

Re:biggest problem (1)

jzeejunk (878194) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970102)

2. Nobody else can hear the sound on your earphones anyway.

well.. duh! My point being movie as opposed to music is a group activity and ipod/mobile like devices aren't as useful for that unless you change your viewing habits.

Re:biggest problem (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969785)

Agreed. They've also had those little handheld tv's forever, but they never really seem to have caught on.

Not buying it (2, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970067)

Whenever someone says "The iPod's screen is too small," I just remind them of the Gameboy Advance, which kids and adults alike don't seem to mind staring at for hours at a time.

I think it's just a mental paradigm shift for a lot of people to adjust from turning on a TV and flipping through channels to catch something, to downloading what you want to see and watching it whenever you want.

Not there now, or ever. (5, Insightful)

phpm0nkey (768038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969601)

Mobile audio and mobile video are two different worlds. If you have a high quality audio file and a good pair of headphones, a mobile audio player can deliver a virtually perfect listening experience, anywhere. On top of that, you can multitask with an audio player. I can lull myself into a good coding mood listening to Garbage, load up some podcasts for the drive to work, or make a running playlist where the BPM of each song synches up with my feet hitting the ground; it's a beautiful synergy.

Video is nothing like this. I can't watch a TV show while I'm driving, exercising or working. More so, the immersion experience is relative to the size of the screen. No matter how big your TV screen is, you'd like to be watching a bigger one. If your screen is only a few inches large, I would guess that this distraction would be constant. Yes, Apple sold a million videos in no time flat, but I think this is just novelty. Apple's teeming hordes will buy any new iPod that comes out, and everyone who bought a video iPod probably purchased at least one video to try it out. We'll see if the trend continues.

Saying that mobile video is "Not Yet There" implies that the natural progression of technology will eventually make it more compelling. I disagree. Any TV screen that fits in your pocket will always be too small to be enjoyable, and it's very difficult to multitask when something requires both your eyes and ears. Mobile video will never be as ubiquitous as mobile audio is today.

Re:Not there now, or ever. (1)

fragmentate (908035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969655)

I've seen some of the shows that the Brits watch... 2 inches is more than enough...

Re:Not there now, or ever. (1)

flyinwhitey (928430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969725)

"2 inches is more than enough..."

Is that a british porno?

Perceived "size" needs to happen another way (3, Interesting)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969748)

the immersion experience is relative to the size of the screen. No matter how big your TV screen is, you'd like to be watching a bigger one. If your screen is only a few inches large, I would guess that this distraction would be constant.

Sound does accomplish part of the immersion thing pretty well. When you've got some okay headphones on, even with the teeny screen, you can hear the rumble of the rush on Akaba in Lawrence of Arabia. You just can't see the wide screen image.

And you're right, music you listen to in parallel with other stuff, whereas video you have to focus on, and those are different. It's hard to see the convergence of the iPod player and portable DVD players any time soon. You'd need some sort of projection screen...

Or alternatively, you can make the size of the screen completely irrelevant by just bringing it closer to your eyes. When some Jonathan Ives type cooks up "TV Glasses" that don't look as "stylish and comfortable" (and headache-inducing) as this [] , then we'll be getting someplace. For portable video, you just can't be wedded to the physical screen across the room the way we are now. You have to approach the problem from another angle.

Jobs pitched video as a little perk added in the update to the top-end iPods, and that was just about right.

Re:Not there now, or ever. (1)

Cabby (39912) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969750)

I would personally suspect that there's probably a niche market for mobile video. If you're stuck somewhere where you don't need to multitask (sitting on the bus/on a plane/in a waiting room,...) then I think a proposition based around short 'made for mobile' content is viable.

I'm not sure you're going to want to get involved with a long piece of content when you might have to stop viewing at any moment, but you might well sit and watch short 3-4 minute duration programming.

Re:Not there now, or ever. (2, Interesting)

Taladar (717494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969764)

I agree with everything but your last point. We might have mobile video for the masses when we transcend the screen and either project the video as some sort of hologram or send it directly into the eye. That way you can simulate a movie screen without hauling a movie theater around.

Re:Not there now, or ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969840)

How am I supposed to drive while watching TV if it's projected into my eye or my brain?

Re:Not there now, or ever. (3, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969780)

Video is nothing like this. I can't watch a TV show while I'm driving, exercising or working.

Working, no... but plenty of people commute via bus, train or ferry, so they could watch TV while they ride. (Not me. I drive to work like a regular American, but if I lived in a "dark blue" state where there was a good rail line and inadequite parking, I could see the need to watch episodes of "House" or something while trying not to talk to the people around me.)

A lot of people also use treadmills, stationary bikes, stair machines, etc., while watching TV. There could be money in making some kind of mounting bracket for attaching these gizmos to excercise equipment.

Re:Not there now, or ever. (3, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969847)

I agree with the first half of your post completely. However, there won't ever be a demand for the mounting brackets you refer to. It's cheaper for someone to just buy a small TV and put it in the room with their exercise equipment than to dish out for a video enabled phone or iPod. If they're not using exercise equipment at home where they could do this, they're at a gym which almost definitely has TV's already.

Besides, when you're moving around on a treadmill or eliptical, it's really hard to look at a small, stationary screen that's close to you. Much easier to look at a screen farther away or to actually hold the cellphone/iPod.

Re:Not there now, or ever. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969882)

I don't see a lot of people watching video while working (though I used to at a job developing tech for cable tv, and it didn't seem to impact my productivity any more than listening to audio, so who knows, maybe that will change), but I do see plenty of people watching video while exercising or driving.

The questions (1)

picz (264520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970071)

Who wants to watch TV on a 2 inch display?

This reminds me of some of the other questions:
    - 2002: Who wants to read other peoples blogs?
    - 2000: Who wants to use digital cameras? The analogue ones are far better.
    - 1998: Who wants to be online all the time with this ICQ thingie?
    - 1997: Who wants to write SMS's on a nummeric keyboard? Make a phonecall instead.
    - 1995: Who wants to carry his phone around?
    - 1999: E-mail? Why? I can make a phonecall or fax.
    - 1984: Who wants to own a microcomputer?
    - 1972: Who wants to mount wheels under their shoes?
    - 1964: Who wants to hear this Beattles-noise?

Do not underestimate people's confusion about what they really want. Of course they want to be able to watch videos anywhare and anytime and show off with it to our poor friends, family and colleagues.

I haven't tried the 5G iPod yet. But I have had a Nintendo Gameboy Advance and have enjoyed playing on it's small display. When being in train or on a plane, it's a nice way to make the time pass.

I do not say, that video on mobile devices will catch on as a fire in a pile of tyres, but I have learnt never to say never. Strange things catch on.


Re:Not there now, or ever. (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970081)

I agree with: Mobile video will never be as ubiquitous as mobile audio is today. However, I think that there is a sizable niche market for it.

Namely, travelers and kids. iPod needs to work on battery life before this will really be in full bloom, because right now it can't play video for a whole NY-LA plane trip (let alone a drive to grandma's house two states away). But once it can, it might have a place. An adult on an airplane or a kid in a backseat doesn't need to worry about multitasking, they just need something to keep them occupied for a few hours. Note the popularity of TVs in the backseats of minivans and SUVs - if downloadable video were cheaper than DVDs, the iPod could at least partially replace those.

Is the mainstream market not yet ready.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969607)

Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?

More like portable video is an answer to a problem that doesn't exist.

If you want to portably watch television, get a portable tv.

Broadcast TV (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969700) being phased out. It is a moving target, but I think the present date is 2008, rendering your portable TV useless after that point (unless you are an amateur radio operator...)


Re:Broadcast TV (1)

OhPlz (168413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969841)

Not quite.

Analog broadcast is on its way out. Digital broadcast is here to stay.

Re:Broadcast TV (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969896)

Broadcast TV isn't being phased out, however ANALOG broadcast TV is. An analog portable TV will be somewhat useless, however a portable TV with Digital receiver would be very useful.

I hear the FCC is going to make a ton of money by auctioning off portions of the spectrum that are currently 'wasted' by high bandwidth analog TV.

Point totally missed (1)

fbonnet (756003) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970052)

If you want to portably watch television, get a portable tv.

Try watching TV in a high speed train then. It's not about PORTABLE tv, but MOBILE tv.

The main problems addressed by DVB-H (the European^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hrest-of-the-world standard for mobile TV) are:

  1. Mobility and nomadism. Broadcast frequencies are not constant across territory. With non-mobile TV (digital or analog) you must constantly (and manually) tune your receiver. With DVB-H, national TV channels are available seamlessly on the whole territory (you can also have local channels) whatever the actual broadcast frequencies, even if you're moving at high speed (train, car...).
  2. Battery life. DVB-H is an adaptation of DVB-T that sends data in short bursts to save power due to the reception antenna and tuner. The antenna is the most power-demanding part of a mobile set.
Limiting DVB-H to mobile phones is narrowing the possibilities of this standard. Think in-car TVs. Applications are countless, and I predict that, if the technology is ready, demand will rise before the beginning of Soccer World Cup in Germany next summer, the same way it will drive demand for HD TVs, and the 1998 World Cup drove demand for big screen TVs. You could for example get summaries of matches, videos of the best goals, statistics, and so on in a customized fashion.

Nope. (0, Redundant)

killmenow (184444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969608)

Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?
Who the hell wants to watch TV on a 2-inch screen?

As soon as they start making cell phones with 9" or better screens on them, I'll be interested in watching TV on them. But then, it'll be a bitch to get into my pocket.

duh... Video Speakerphone! (2, Funny) (579491) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969694)

Just like speakerphone lets you use your phone without holding it up to your ear, video speakerphone will let you watch video without squinting at a tiny screen!

Sure, the details are vague, but it sounds good to me!

Re:Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969758)

Who the hell wants to watch TV on a 2-inch screen?
As soon as they start making cell phones with 9" or better screens on them, I'll be interested in watching TV on them. But then, it'll be a bitch to get into my pocket.

9" ?? wtf? I want a 60" .. oh wait. I can get that as a normal bigscreen TV. Anyone who wishes to watch TV on a cell phone just have too much time on their hand and could just as well sit at home and twiddle their thumbs. While in a train. Gosh, read a book instead? A phone is a phone. Let it stay that way.

What about... (1)

zigziggityzoo (915650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970101)

Flexible OLED screens. A phone with a 6" screen that unrolls from the side.

Re:Nope. (1)

bentcd (690786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970149)

I expect mobile TV will take off once either 1) the image can be projected directly onto your retina, doing away with a screen altogether, or 2) you get non-bulky glasses with built-in screens (ala Sony Glasstron) that can be varied from 0% to 100% transparency.

Little picture for little minds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969613)

Port. TV has been around for ages and ages. It's not that it's not here yet, but that it's been here and gone. You have to have a little mind to spend it watching a little 5cm screen, and watch what. There will be the few who spend countless hours recoding for the little screen, natch. The rest of us shake our heads and laugh...because we can, and it's funny. Wannabegeeks. What's next.

Re:Little picture for little minds? (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969693)

It's not that it's not here yet, but that it's been here and gone. You have to have a little mind to spend it watching a little 5cm screen, and watch what.

It is of limited use, and the advertisements pushing it border on the absurd (as they always do - it's going to replace your home theater system!), however there most certainly is a place for it: A year back I commuted into the city, spending an hour each way on a commuter train (like millions across the continent - in this case North America). I would love to have been able to make use of that time somehow: Reading was too visually difficult, and there wasn't realistically space to use a laptop, or even really to read a newspaper.

Re:Little picture for little minds? (1)

MrBandersnatch (544818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969937)

Trust me when I say its not worth it. Whereas with music I dont mind if Im listening to one of my favorite tracks for the 100th time; with TV/Video I seldom want to watch something more than once or twice...and that means I eventually have to replace the content. Completely!

Ive been doing this off and on for a number of years with Anime and an iPaq. At first it was fun but it just became a drag encoding new content to watch. And that was free content - it would soon have mounted up to be an expensive way of staying entertained on a 3 hour daily commute. Anyways I eventually just went back to listening to music and reading on my commute (and then I got rid of the commute which was an even better idea!).

Two things I have to say though. 1) What annoyed me more than anything was people on the tube looking over my shoulder at what I was watching; annoying mainly because it could be quite embarrasing watching an anime with some fanservice in it!! 2) What I REALLY want for a commute is an eInk ebook reader. If Apple would actually innovate rather than repackage for the mass-market (yeah yeah) yesterdays tech (and yup I agree, here and gone!) I might actually buy one of their products!!

Re:Little picture for little minds? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969969)

Totally agree with your comment, however I was thinking more of the streaming television [] that several of the providers are offering now. If I had to record, encode, and transfer everything in prep every morning for sure I'd get bored of that situation very, very quickly. Indeed, even keeping AvantGo content updated on my PDA seemed like more hassle than it was worth.

"Not yet ready?" (4, Insightful)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969625)

Doesn't this beg the question of whether they will EVER be ready?

Despite their foibles and quirks, "the mainstream," bless their souls, sometime has a pretty good bead on what they think is bullshit and what is not. I think that TV on a cell phone is counted in the former category and not the latter.

Just because technology can do a thing, does not necessarily mean that it will ever be accepted by the "mainstream."

Re:"Not yet ready?" (2, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969791)

In fairness to mobile video on cell phone, I think there are only 4 problems blocking adoption:

resolution: no doubt this will be solved in the next 10 years or less
screensize: unrollable, unfoldable, or eye projection screens will resolve this inside of 20 years
quality: bigger storage and faster transmission protocols will resolve this inside 10 years
availability: tivo-to-mobile etc will solve this inside 5 years

So my guess is this will be pretty common and enjoyable in 10 years or less.

Re:"Not yet ready?" (1)

Heian-794 (834234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969911)

Those problems may well be solved, but I think a bigger hurdle is going to be the fact that many people live in countries (the UK, Japan, etc.) with national TV stations who make you pay just for possessing a device capable of receiving their broadcasts.

(Arguments about that have gone back and forth on Slashdot many times before.)

Camera phones are already becoming the norm because it doesn't cost the user any more to have a camera that he/she neve ruses. But with TV capability, it means that people who just want basic phones and have no desire to watch broadcasts have to prevent others from wanting this feature, otherwise they'll be stuck paying through the nose next time they want to upgrade and the only things available are TV phones with BBC/NHK/etc. fees attached.

Or national TV stations could change their policies and find a way to only charge people who make use of their stations. But we all know how likely that is to happen.

I have never understood (3, Interesting)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969627)

I have never understood the appeal of those portable DVD players, the one good thing about I suppose is that you can plug them into your television if you have one handy. So its not surprising that the video ipod has a tv out, i had no real desire for a portable video player, but that tv out instantly gets me interested, I can put anything I can get from the internet on to the ipod video and watch it on my telly in my living room.

I think there is a good chance now that sony will re-release the PSP with a tv out, if they did I would definitely pick one up.

Re:I have never understood (1)

jumpingfred (244629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969727)

The appeal is travel. You can watch movies on a plane.

Re:I have never understood (4, Insightful)

kmcardle (24757) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969737)

I have never understood the appeal of those portable DVD players
They are invaluable for long car trips with children. Listening to Spongebob for 6 hours is better than listening to "are we there yet" for 6 hours.

Re:I have never understood (1)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970030)

Listening to Spongebob for 6 hours is better than listening to "are we there yet" for 6 hours.

Those aren't your only options [] .

Very nice for air travel (1)

sczimme (603413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969941)

I have never understood the appeal of those portable DVD players

They are very handy for long (e.g. cross-country) flights. I have a Toshiba portable, and the battery life is quite good: so far the longest I have used it is ~2.5 hours.

Yes, the screen is smaller, but this is quite helpful when the jackass in front of you decides to recline his seat all the way back without notice and as violently as possible. A laptop [with a larger screen] is more likely to be damaged in this case.

Re:I have never understood (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969959)

Several reasons there isa market for them:

Business Travel -- if you want to watch a movie at a hotel, you have to pay big bucks (US$10) for a limited selection via the hotel's distribution system.

Traveling with the kids -- makes road trips a lot easier to handle. And to stave off the "but good parents wouldn't need to foster the kids off on an electronic babysitter in the car" crowd -- it's a lot safer to drive when the kids aren't interrupting your focus every 20 seconds.

Commuters -- Those of us who responsibly take mass transit to the office have another way to pass the time.

Crowded houses -- Allows someone to watch a movie without dominating the living room. Can easily be carried from room to room, a better solution than having a TV and DVD player in every room.

Re:I have never understood (1)

tji (74570) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969975)

Well, that's the whole point.. you use the portable devices where/when you don't have a TV handy. Portable DVDs, iPods, PSPs and such are really nice to have on long plane flights. They're also great to keep kids occupied on long drives.

Why would you care about any of these in the context of home usage?

Portable video ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969630)

Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?
Maybe they should try portable pornography first. =)

bloat!!! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969634)

Now folks, get ready for yet another round or dose of bloat on the cell phone. Where can I get a simple cell phone to just make and make calls?

Question: Is is possible to assemble one from legacy components like we do with computer systems? I would not mind the size. I guess it would be quite big.

Re:bloat!!! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969714)

But if you have a simple phone, then how will the cell phone companies charge you for "extras"? I'd consider TV on my mobile phone... if it were free. That's the whole problem for me right there. No, I don't want to spend $10/kb, or whatever the silly price is, for data transfers over your cell phone network. Nothing I'm doing online is quite that important.

So I'm not so much anti-bloat here as I am against phone companies trying to push me into outrageously-priced services that I don't need.

Verizon (2, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969723)

Verizon still stocks basic cell phones. They don't flip, no color screens, etc.


Re:bloat!!! (3, Insightful)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969771)

This is what happens when gadgets become more appealing to non-gadget oriented people. When it's a social statement for everyone to have the latest and greatest thing, the features quickly become superficial in terms of their actual usefulness or quality. A cell phone that has a camera, takes videos, displays TV, plays music, and whatever else is all very cute, but they're only widespread because those features signify the latest and therefore the best in the public eye.
I'm not saying not to make these features in a gadget. But make a *quality* gadget that's not a cheap POS that was rushed out the door so the gotta-have-its can be the first to be seen with it.
I want my phone to be a phone. That's it. My job prohibits a camera phone. Which would be fine, if it wasn't for the fact that because of the current trend, a phone without a camera is automatically the cheapest quality phone available.
I just want a phone with a sharp screen, long battery life, voice dialing, and menus that don't have a half-second lag time behind button pushes. And that's it. And I can't manage to find one.

If I want a digital camera, I'll buy one. Same with a music player, video player, TV, or video camera. And no contracts, either.

Re:bloat!!! (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970104)

I've never had a problem getting a nice, basic phone when I choose the free one on whatever cel plan. Although T-Mobile has recently upgraded their free phone to a color screen flip-phone (my husband got one), but it still lacks 90% of the photo-music-etc bells-and-whistles.

I might use iPod video... (3, Interesting)

supersocialist (884820) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969639)

...if it, you know, worked better. iTunes under XP won't export videos to the iPod, just hangs ... I guess it works for a lot of people, but there's a number of people complaining in the support forums. Fortunately I only care about one video, Wave Twisters ...

kind of obvious isnt it? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969649)

why would anyone choose to watch movies and video on a screen about the size of a saltine cracker?, when there is a full size TV in the living room and atleast a 17 inch computer monitor in the HomeOffice?

Re:kind of obvious isnt it? (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969676)

Because you can't take that TV or computer monitor with you when you're on the road. I agree, it's pretty obvious.

Not ready? (3, Insightful)

tyler083 (775626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969657)

"Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?"

Not ready? Or perhaps people just aren't interested in trying to walk around downtown while staring down at a tiny screen trying to make out what the people on the screen are doing.

To me it sounds like a mugging waiting to happen.

Re:Not ready? (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969702)

To me it sounds like a mugging waiting to happen.

Sounds like you live in New York! Welcome, brother.

Re:Not ready? (1)

therealking (223121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969743)

You guys are missing the target.

There are millions of people everyday that take buses, subways, and airplanes(WOW!), that have alot of free time on thier hands. Up to an hour for work commuters, up to 8 hours for air commuters. All of these places give you a very small space to sit in and "relax".

So now not only can I listen to music on my ride, but with no extra effort or accessories I can watch last nights LOST that I missed or my favorite Star Trek episodes.

It's not for people sitting at home, it for people who travel and do not do the driving.

I personally think it's a great idea, and have been chomping at the bit for apple to do this for over a year.

Re:Not ready? (1)

tyler083 (775626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969796)

i can see some people using it, but not a ton. I take a train to work every day, and the ride isn't long enough for a single show.

If i was on an airplane, i'd rather use my laptop.

I am not trying to say that people won't like it. But the question was 'Are people not ready' I'm saying that I just don't think it's applicable to a large number of people. It has nothing to do with readyness.

Re:Not ready? (1)

therealking (223121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970028)

Unless I'm in 1st class(rare) I can't use my laptop because the screen wacks the back of the seat in front of me.

The mainstream market is never ready for change (5, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969668)

> Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?

With respect, this is disingenuos. Succesful products never wait until the mainstream market is 'ready' for any new product, if they did, then another company taking a risk would be the ones who get the marketshare. The key item here is 'disruptive technology'.

An example of disruptive technology is the 8" hard drive. The 14" hard drives were fast and stored a lot of data, but few of the disk companies bothered to make 8" drives when they came out because they were slower and didn't store as much data. Not only that, but they cost more per megabyte. But the market for Minicomputers demanded lower cost (even if it was higher cost per meg) overall drives, so they started improving. Only one or two hard drive companies from the 14" market survived the switch to 8" drives because they didn't see the benefit, and their customers didn't either, until it was too late.

The same thing happened again when the 5.25" HDs came out. Only a couple manufacturers of 8" drives stayed in business, and only because they spent money on the 5.25" drives well before they were good enough to sell, or profitable.

Finally, look at the excavating market: Up until the 1940s, steam shovels were all cable activated. They used cables to lift the arms and control the scoop, not hydraulics. When the first hydraulic dirt movers came out, they couldn't move anywhere near as much dirt and they cost more to operate, but eventually they became more powerful, safer, and cheaper to own and operate then cable operated stuff. NONE of the steam shovel companies that were in business in the 1940s survived past the 1950s because they didn't see the benefit of selling what they saw as inferior technology, which hydraulics definately were in the beginning.

This created opportunities for the startups to dominate the small hydraulics market unopposed until they were able to grow into and take over the domain of the cable operated steam shovel.

Cell phone video sucks right now, and doesn't _sound_ smart to the mainstream market. After all, it's not as high quality as DVD now, and it has lots of deficiencies, but they know that eventually, the market for digital downloads of video may grow to compete with and even replace physical media sales. That's not what customers want right now, but the market and technologies change, so 5-10 years from now, customers will demand this, and whoever is in the business first will have lots of advantages.

Remember, what the customer wants is not always best, and if you spend your life following the customers requests only, you'll eventually go out of business when a disruptive technology appears. It happened to the 14" drive manufacturers who listened to their customers (who weren't interested in slower, lower capacity drives), and it could happen to the media industry that doesn't take a risk with this stuff. I'm not saying it's a slam dunk, but whoever takes the risk stands to reap the rewards, while everyone else has to play catch up, IF the technology takes off.

Just something to think about...

Re:The mainstream market is never ready for change (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969987)

Remember, what the customer wants is not always best, and if you spend your life following the customers requests only, you'll eventually go out of business when a disruptive technology appears.

A good summary to a great writeup. Although this wasn't exactly where you were going, I've never seen a better argument for why R&D is a good thing for any company that wants to survive in the long term.

Watching on the PC? (4, Insightful)

Wizard of OS (111213) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969675)

Nearly 45% of consumers said they would watch TV on their home computer, because it enabled them to choose what they wanted to watch and when.

This smells like a very badly formed question. I would never want to watch TV on my home computer if I could 'choose wat and when to watch' on my TV.

My TV is way bigger than my PC, located in a far more confortable room. This answer looks like the question had too few possible options; if you could have video-on-demand on your TV you wouldn't dream of giving the above answer.

Re:Watching on the PC? (1)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969731)

Personaly I'd rather watch on my computer -- outputing to my TV.

vicious cycle (1)

PureCreditor (300490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969684)

people will only want larger screens to view TV (or any other type of video) on their phones, and yet they don't want their phones to bloat in size until they become voice-enabled PDAs, so it's really a perpetual dilemma.

everything else succeeded on a cell phone - voice, WAP (well, partially), ringtones, simple games, mp3s, camera...EXCEPT video

same reason why all those portable Windows Media players aren't selling like hot cakes, and the same reason why people buy the 5th Gen iPod primarily for mp3. The screen can only get so small until it becomes squinting.

And what's the point of Hi-def video on cell phones when the native resolution is merely 240x320 on most of the high-end phones. even when we quadruple that to VGA, that's still only DVD-quality, hardly the definition of "HD." So for those fanatics calling for 1080p streamed to their $49 heavily-rebated phone from NextHell, please be realistic =)

Japan (5, Informative)

ajohnj1 (534707) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969696)

TV on mobiles have been 'there' in Japan for awhile now. It is pretty much a standard feature on all of the "free" phones you can get when you sign up for new service. Whether people actually watch TV on their phones is another question...

Re:Japan (1)

ponds (728911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969864)

They don't.

In Japan, they have Giant Pink Robots to watch TV for you.

Needs features (3, Insightful)

flyinwhitey (928430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969701)

The desire for TV on a mobile isn't coming from consumers, it's being pitched to them by phone companies desperate to set themselves apart somehow.

Without a new feature to set themselves apart, they will be seen as technologically deficient. If the other guy has it, we must have it too.

Of course, whether TV is actually useable (much like early internet on cellphones) isn't really important. Only that it is offered to make someone sign a contract.

Tiny Screen (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969704)

I did some research into this a few years back and found some interesting conclusions. I edited together a short documentary discussing the difficulties with watching videos on a cellphone. Once phone makers got beyond the large battery requirements, and found a way to prevent people from watching the video with the speaker on in a quiet restaurant, there were still some fundamental issues that were difficult to overcome.

One was the fact that most consumers would happily pay double or triple for their phone so they could get it without TV but with good reception and sound quality. However, the most daunting problem with video on phones still hasn't been addressed.

To learn about this problem, I invite you to watch my video on the subject. The documentary was filmed in hi-def and recoded to for streaming cell-phone transmission. Simply click the video screen below to start watching.

Video Screen -->> [=]

Thank you for watching. I hope it is quite clear why TV on cellphones isn't a mainstream desire.

In the issue of full disclosure, my company is working on displaying e-books on cell phones. You can see a preview below.

Cell-E-Book 2.0 -->> [N]

I hope they are NEVER ready watch TV and drive (2, Interesting)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969709)

if they want to watch Sex and the City while they are on the subway, more power to 'em. Although the signal condition is erratic in my part of the world, I'd say only passengers should operate mobile devices of any kind. As a cyclist, I would like people to understand that the less distractions for drivers, the better.

Of course? (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969719)

The big ta-do over Apple allowing video downloads was not the crappy mini-version they are currently offering, it is that this could be the crack-in-the-dam that allows us to download video on demand for /real/ TV-quality shows.


TV On Mobiles? (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969734)

Why not, they have the internet on computers now.

Obvious? (1)

ajdowntown (91738) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969742)

Has anyone stated the obvious yet? The ipod video is NOT a phone...

Realistically, I don't think such a small screen will ever be useful for something longer than say a 5 minute video. Paying attention to the small screen for extended periods of time is rather annoying...

Reverse the question (2, Insightful)

geekwithsoul (860466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969744)

Instead of :Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?

The question should be: Is portable video not yet ready for the mainstream market?

Why spend time and money to be able to watch TV and/or movies on a portable device like an iPod or phone, when all that is on TV is crap? There are two different reasons people watch TV (usually gender differentiated), one is excitement and the other is escapism into a good story. Big budget movies and sporting events on a small screen are, let's face it, a stupid idea and painful to watch. Escapist television is all about cocooning in your big comfy couch/recliner and ignoring the rest of the world for awhile, which is not really suitable for a mobile device.

I wouldn't want to watch most of what is on TV on a 60-inch plasma w/ surround sound, let alone a teeny-tiny LCD with earbuds.

Portable TV... why? (3, Insightful)

theJML (911853) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969751)

So I know I'm probably just addding to the other people on here that have already vented that portable TV is a thing of the past, and that the screen is too small, and that there's nothing good on anyway, etc... but obviously the OEMs and Service Providers don't realize this yet... It used to be cool to be able to pick up that TV signal anywhere and watch TV, but not only is it old hat, but why would I want to do that on a Cell Phone of all things? Think about it:
I'm at home, I watch the HDTV in the living room.
I'm in the Home Office, I have a TV tuner (that rarely gets used, but that's beside the point)
I'm on the go, there are DVD players and TV tuners for in car stereos (which have much better sound and typically are like 7" screens)
I'm in the office, there's a TV in the break room (besides, I'm too busy to watch TV at work anyway or I wouldn't have a job)

Why do we need another one? Are people standing around waiting in lines for the train? Is that the only market? I used to surf the net on my phone waiting for my plane when I traveled, but it was usually only for a few minutes to get the news because the screen was too darn small. How many people ride the train/plane/bus to work? I assume it's a decent number, but compare that to the number of people that can afford a phone that enables them to watch TV and how many actualy care to watch TV in the first place and then see how many are in all categories... then realize that we're talking about a small percentage of people here and realize that Cell phone TV = "Nothing to see here, move along"

Just my $0.02 I guess.

$0.02 (1)

mcsnee (103033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970042)

I got into the habit of lugging my laptop to the laundromat with me to watch DVDs while I waited for my clothes to dry. This was definitely not an optimal solution--it's already awkward to manage two baskets of laundry and a bottle of detergent; having to deal with a laptop bag on top of that was a pain.

When I got a PSP, I started using that instead. But the movies and games are expensive.

An iPod with video capability seems like it would be a perfect laundromat companion. The fact that they're not really sacrificing any of the original functionality or design, or increasing the price, makes it a no-brainer. If you can give me more options without taking away the things I like already, I'm a happy camper.

For cell phones, on the other hand, the "feature" I used to like was being able to quickly select a name from my phone book and dial that person's number. Now, with the camera and the games and the other garbage they've installed, this process takes longer and longer and seems to be less and less reliable.

People *do* have the desire (3, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969772)

It's just that the current 3G offerings are a total ripoff. It's a wonder that anyone would bother with the pissy service offered by the likes of 3, Vodfone, O2 etc. For a small fortune your 3G subscription lets you watch miniscule clips such as movie trailers and other crap that you can get for free from the Internet.

Considering that the UK has DVB coverage in virtually every populated area (and it's unencrypted), it is a wonder that there is no phone that can tap into it. There might be issues with roaming around from area to area & reception, but even so a phone that offered unimpeded access to DVB would still kick 3Gs arse all over the shop. Later models would probably even be DVRs as well, either to a memory card or hard drive.

But such a device is unlikely to ever happen - at least as a subsidized offering. The telcos have spent billions on the lame duck called 3G and they're certainly not going to let their customers get something better for free.

Speaking as a member of the "Mainstream Market" (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969777)

"Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?"

Better question, "How much is the average person willing to pay to watch TV on his cellphone?"

Speaking for myself, $0.00. The only possible market I can think of for this (outside of you hardcore "gadget heads") would be sports fans that want to be able to immediately see instant replays while at a game. However, aren't games often "blacked out" in the area near the stadium anyways?

I can see how a Phone/PDA has potential - especially if Palm and Blackberry join forces. Problem is, you'd only want to have that as part of your work. You certainly don't want to take that anywhere it could get damaged.

Therefore, give me a reliable phone that is small and can tolerate rough handling. Something I can throw in the seat pack of my mountain bike and not worry about it getting scratched up or beat up if I drop the bike.

A Basic phone that is reliable, waterproof, shockproof, and small. If you absolutely must add a "gadget", make it an MP3 player - the fitness crowd can use that during thier morning jogs, spin sessions, bike rides, etc.

I'll lay odds that phone will outsell any "gadget phone" out there.

Re:Speaking as a member of the "Mainstream Market" (1)

tumbleweedsi (904869) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969967)

I have two phones, a work one and a home one.

The work one is a Treo 650 which does pretty much everything I want it to do including email and web surfing (so I can blog on the train). It also has a qwerty keyboard so I can type things easily.

My other phone is the weekend phone and is a Motorola Razr. It does some cool stuff but to be honest all I have it for is making calls and it does that well. It is also really small which is a big bonus because I can slip it into the pocket of my jeans and forget it is there (unlike the treo which weighs down my suit jacket on one side).

I do not want tv on a mobile because during the week while I am at work I can just fire up a screen if there is anything I need to see and at the weekend I do not want tv unless I am in front of my big plasma.

tiny low-res screen is not a home theater! (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969797)

Well, if I'm going to enjoy a TV how, I'd like to be able to see it. Cell phone screens are too small. Once upon a time I thought those Casio 1.5" TVs were neat, but coul dnever afford one in my childhood, and now don't think I would have really enjoyed it anyway. Too small. Would I have been able to read the big "01" painted on the side of the car in Dukes of Hazzard? Would I have been able to make out Mr. T's mohawk hair cut in the A-Team? Would one be able to tell what the gross stuff is that people are supposed to eat or sit in on those reality shows? Would I be able to see much of anything at all?

Now, blow that picture up to computer monitor size. Video iTunes sounds like a neat idea, but I ain't gonna watch anything at iPod resolution on my 19" monitor. Blocky and pixellated like there's no tomorrow. It'd probably make my eyes hurt. No thanks.

Now, I could see a cellphone with a big memory capacity being somewhat of a portable Tivo. Maybe it could receive and store a TV show while you're driving a long distance, so you can't go home anc copy a recording there before watching it at your destination that doesn't have a DVR, like maybe visiting your parents who still haven't figured out how to work their now ancient VCR. Or you're on your way to some business conference thing and don't want to be stuck with the limited channel offerings or expensive pay-per-view junk of the hotel you're stuck in for the next week.

But such cellphone recordings when connected to TV or monitor for playback should look good, not like they were obviously blown up from a 1 inch screen resolution. The phone should be able to play back anyway in case no large screen is available on the plane, or to preview what's already stored so you can choose and delete some old show to make room for a new recording.

Mobobile TV - only wearable. (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969826)

It's just matter of quality.
With music, you have good quality speakers at home, or earphones you wear and they provide comparable quality. You don't listen to the music in form of ringtones from the phone speaker, keeping an inch wide speaker a foot away from your ear causes so much quality loss that it's worthless.
Same with video. If you watch the tiny screen of your phone from 1 foot away, it's hard to make out any details. The loss of quality is so huge the experience is worthless. If it was based on "VR glasses" that provide nearly-total immersion and allow the picture to take up most of your field of view, meantime not making you dizzy, nauseous or (hard part) blind to the surrounding world, it would be a great success. Video equivalent of earphones, instead of video equivalent of a pocket radio with tiny speaker...

Free TV or paid videos? (1)

RealTobriand (798524) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969835)

See, I am quite certain that, were my mobile to offer a screen of at least the same size as a GBA and free TV capability, then I would watch it. I've certainly used my GP32 to watch movies on for long journeys these last couple of years, despite (or to some extent, because of - it IS usable on a bus as a TV isn't) the 3 1/2 inch screen. However, its worth remembering that if money can be milked from something (especially by phone companies) it will be... SMSes are still, iirc, ridiculously overpriced, just as are picture messages (can't remember the figures, but a few years ago it was something like 0.01p cost and 10p being charged by the phone companies), and were a mobile phone to tout its video capabilities, I'd automatically assumes I'd be paying through the nose to get at them. Which I imagine most are unwilling to do. The question should be wether eople would be interested in *free* TV on their mobile handsets, or whether, say, you would choose a handset with 3 days' battery life with TV against one with 20 days' battery life without. Or whatever other features you want to compare with TV's desirability.

I can see situations (1)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969866)

Say you aren't at home but the big game is on. Or a big news event occurs, etc.
Also I can see the appeal for teenagers who don't control the family TV.

Why would we want this now anyway? (1)

Phoenix (2762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969868)

For starters, who wants to look at a screen that tiny for any length of time. It's already a bugger to surf the internet on a cell phone as it stands now, much less watch a video of a news article. With a screen that small important details would be rendered too small to be of much use.

Secondly, cell phone battery time is an issue. Anytime you have your phone communicating with the network, you're burning up your available useability. Would you like to explain to your boss that you missed that very important call because your phone snuffed while watching Friends?

Thirdly, there is the cost. How much are people willing to pay for the ability to watch this stuff? This service with enough connection minutes to be actually able to watch anything of interest must cost a bit of cash. I'm more inclined to use that money for Cable.

We're just not ready for this technology as it stands right now. Give it a few years and the tech and the demand will be there...unless something better comes along.


Strange how these things go . . . (2, Insightful)

drScott2 (899542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969887)

Am I the only on here who is not surprised by this news? For quite some time, everyone was predicting the video iPod, and some users screamed for it. Now the video iPod is available, and no one really cares a whole lot. I think Apple knew what they were doing by waiting, and smart by including video capabilities in the full size iPod instead of making a separate iPod video.

I think a big part of the reason that no one is too excited about this is that Apple is creating this market by having TV shows and music videos available for download. Portable DVD players exist, sure - but no one has really been able to make any waves in the portable video market until now. I'm excited about the possibilities, and I'll be watching where this goes closely. God knows I'd love to be able to buy episodes of 24 they day after they air (hint, hint, Fox).

Implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969894)

I'd say it just needs to be done right. I would've thought that the tiny iPod screen would be the last place to learn about brain on any meaningful level, but then you see something like this [] .

Not a huge innovation by any stretch, but a great example of solid content + clever implentation = decent user experience, despite the apparent limitations of the delivery device.

Cellphone TV (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969898)

I personally think that video will catch on with cellphones...not necessarily TV as we know it, but certainly shows broadcast on television currently, and other video content.

However, in order for this to happen there are three huge barriers...screen size and battery life and cellphone companies. Screen size might be solved partially by roll up screens that you could pull out of your phone, or holographic ones, or by an eye piece of some sort. I personally wouldn't be surprised to see an eye piece in the future, I mean, the bluetooth ear sets are practically a fashion item now.

Battery life could possibly be solved by fuel cells. The thing is...cellphones have pretty much transcended the world of just being a phone, and have become a portable extension of our home computing platform. I watch a lot of downloaded video on my PC, be it viral clips or movies I've downloaded, and I'd love to watch them on my cellphone if it wasn't at the expense of other functions.

Unfortunately, the third barrier is one I don't see as being solvable. You see, the cellphone and media companies who provide the hardware and content are not in this game to give you a good product the way you want it. They're in it to make money. If they realized the two go hand in hand, we might have a chance, but they never will. They will tie all of this down with exhorbitant per episode fees, subscription fees, bundled packages, DRM, etc. If by any chance someone comes out with a phone that solves the first two issues and provides an easy way to convert any video file from your home computer, I think that one might become a real winner...but hey, what are the odds of that happening?

only good for a certain type of people (1)

Bauguss (62171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969900)

The whole problem with portable video is that it isn't all that practical. Like others point out, audio is great cuz with headphones, you shove the player in your pocket and listen without having to pay attention. Portable video requires your attention. When people get the time to sit down and watch a show, they are most likely to be in front of a tv. so why bother with portable video.

The market for portable video is in the business traveler. My first thought when reading about the video ipod was man, if you could connect to your tivo, transfer some saved shows, and run to the airport....It would be golden. I know of one family member that would absolutely love that as he travels around the US by air at least once every couple of weeks. It would benefit others with long commutes by train or subway too as long as your sitting and waiting time was around 30 minutes. (and recently I read here that a company had produced just such an idea?)

Otherwise it is a novelty. (though conveniently wrapped in an ipod...)

What really excites me about the whole thing though is the potential to change the distribution method for shows. They put the lost episodes up but you have to buy even the first episode. I think it would be better to give the first 3 episodes of the show for free so you can sample the content. Then you can decide if the rest is worth buying. That would be my ideal distribution method. (they should partner with the likes of Blockbuster or something so they can give people the option to buy and download or buy dvds)

Oh, and I suppose there is a market for all the movie makers/video people out there. Didn't I read here that Lord of the Rings were using their ipods for such a purpose of transferring the days shoot? with the video ipod they could simply view it as well as transfer it. Handy tool. How big is that market though?

One market where it will be a big hit.. (1)

TurkishGeek (61318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969910) Internet-based TV from foreign countries. Globalization is spreading people all over the place, and they want to watch shows in their native language, reflecting their own native culture. There is a huge demand for shows all over the world, and not only for entertainment purposes:I've seen kids of immigrant families(born and raised here in the US) who refuse to speak in anything but English to their moms and dads, and it pains me as much as it pains the parents. Availability of TV shows in the native language would have helped somewhat.

Just look at how successful Telemundo etc. are. Satellite coverage is spotty for many European/Asian televisions here in the US, and Internet is the only option in many cases. I and a lot of people I know would gladly pay for high-quality (as opposed to the problematic Real Video/Windows Media Player feeds we currently have) overseas TV on portable devices and Internet appliances, maybe something like Tivo which can download content from the Internet.

Check out mReplay (1)

erichschubert (96206) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969925)

Check out []
Instead of bringing "full TV" to your mobile (who would want to have that anyway in times of HDTV and huge flat screens?) it just gives you the imagery you might want to have when mobile: replays of the best scenes of a sports event.
And not when it's on TV, but when you want to see it. In bullshit bingo that's called "On Demand". ;-)

It works really well - and with todays mobiles. No UMTS or DVB-M required. Just the simples J2ME profile is enough.

You can go back/forward individual frames and eventually (if the download contains higher resolutions) even zoom in. It's great for sports!

By not streaming unnecessary data like audio or unneeded video frames it minimizes the downloads, too.

Only if it's flat rate, w/ no commercials! (1)

skyshock21 (764958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969938)

I'll only watch TV on my mobile if it doesn't come out of my minutes and looks as good if not better than my TV does at home (on a smaller screen of course). I'd gladly pay a small flat rate, $5-10 extra per month maybe for unlimited TV viewing. It can't have commercials, and I should be able to pause, rewind, fast forward, stop, playback, and record if I so choose. Any recorded programming I capture should be infinitely transferrable and viewable on other devices with none of that current DRM horseshit. I should be able to pick up local channels from any local viewing area I'm travelling in, as well as any cable TV stations I want to watch. And I want it in as good if not better quality picture than my current non-HD 4:3 screen at home. None of this crummy, digitized/pixelated lagging video, unsynchronized audio, barely viewable rubbish they try to pass off as streaming video today.

If any company can figure out a way to do THAT, they'd positively own the market. For me at least, until they can meet ALL those criteria (and not half-ass them!), I'll pass.

How many people will get motion sickness? (2, Insightful)

bsdnazz (114881) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969939)

Can you imagine if a few per-cent of mobile TV viwers get motion sickness on the train or bus? It's not going to be fun finding if you, or the person sitting next to you gets motion sickness.

I'm not interested in cellphone TV unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969994)

... TV stations broadcast Gina Lollobrigida movies!

Thank God (2, Insightful) (121677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970002)

If you think mobile phones are annoying now, wait 'til you have to sit in front of the dipshit watching Tupac videos at top volume (crappy mobile phone speaker quality of course) behind you on the train.

Is already happening here (Germany).

Why is this an "Apple" story? (1)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970051)

Why is this an "Apple" story? Last I checked "Apple" didn't make any cell phones capable of receiving video broadcasts.

Completely backwards (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970079)

Is the mainstream market not yet ready for portable video?

That's the perfect inverse of the real question: is portable video not yet ready for the mainstream market?

We know people love their mobile phones, and love having them perform a wide variety of functions. We know people love TV. We know people love having control of their TV via electronic gadgets. It seems silly, then, to blame lack of adoption on people being unready rather than the technology being unready.

I'd like to receive TV portably and controllably, but not when I have to watch it on microscopic screen. The TV I like to watch - things like football, Modern Marvels, and Forensic Files just won't come across well on a 3" screen.

This may or may not be an insurmountable hurdle for the technology - having a huge screen defeats the mobility of the device, after all - but blaming me for being "unready" for the technology isn't going to hurry adoption. The technology isn't ready for me.

Apple's master plan - misdirection (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970137)

So here's an interesting theory. The only thing that can really unhinge the iPod run is if phones start to become an appealing replacemnet.

So, Apple goes and adds video to iPods - knowing that it won't really be appealing for many people to use in that way, but heck color screens are getting pretty cheap and it doesn't take a lot of effort.

The side benefit? Every phone maker and thier grandmother go to a huge amount of work to support mobile video, with upgraded screens and networks to transmit vidoe and so on and so forth. All at huge expense and increasing the price of phones and services.

Now you have a whole generation of phones that are overly pricey, and do too many things - leaving people to prefer the more popular dedicated solution for music, the iPod.

Market accident or design - you decide.

My views.... (1)

rixster (249481) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970138)

Ok - I feel quite qualified to join in here as I have both a 3G phone (Sharp 902) from vodaphone and also the video ipod. Now I don't know what others have experienced with 3G TV but I can tell you that at BEST (i.e. full strength 3G signal - stationary) it passes off as "barely acceptable" - i.e. you might just bother to watch it if you had no other option and you NEEDED to watch something. The moment you add in factors like (for example) moving on a train ( where I have been doing my research on this matter whilst on the way to work), then the quality drops significantly as you move between base stations. Add that to the occasional drop to GPRS and the whole thing becomes a bit of a farce. Oh yes, and lastly a new handset feature I call "pocket warmer" - so god only knows how much battery its churning through. My all time record for continuous TV watching is around 6 minutes at the moment - before the signal dropping or whatever. I don't know if any of you remember those comical days when people use to have to move a coathanger around in an aerial socket to try to get the best picture - but I think we've metaphorically taken a step back to those times with 3G TV.

With the Ipod, however, its possible to watch a show "quite" comfortably. I say that as I was watching Sin City (great flick) on Sunday and I noticed I'd watched the first hour with the thing about 40cm from my nose. Dang did I notice the eye strain when I looked away... So ... at BEST I would only recommend the video ipod for shows no more than 30-40 minutes and if you do subject yourself to them ( mandatory H&S tip) look away into the distance frequently to relax your eyes
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