Mobile video: yes. Mobile TV: hmm?

Cellphone companies like Sprint, Verizon Wireless ad Vodafone, have been aggressively promoting mobile video services, which cost an average of $10.70 a month for access to sports, news and weather clips. More than a quarter of cellphones now in use can play such videos. But only 1 percent of wireless subscribers are using their phones to watch them, according to a recent survey by the NPD Group, a market research firm.

The good news is: No problem, probably about the same amount of people talk on a regular basis to their tv sets. Which might not qualify as making a phone call. But watching a sports event on matchbox sized screen ain’t television either …

No, really: broadcasting to handsets via mobile phone networks is a weird idea anyway. It’s either a failure – or punished with network congestion. Mobile broadcasting via DVB-H or DMB makes at least some technological sense. But building the infrastructure is scariliy expensive.

Mobile media is personal media: portable radios are on the shelves since more than 40 years. But Walkmen and iPod are dominating the streets for a reason, not dirt cheap FM receivers. Data storage is getting less and less expensive. And that at much quicker pace than bandwith pricing. So yes, mobile video is a runner. But mobile tv – a bummer.

Via NY Times

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