Tuesday, June 9, 2009

As The Digital Transition Nears, Broadcasters Compete To Put TV on Mobile Devices

With the digital transition in 3 more days, what is to become with all those analog signals. Well the next avenue for full video remains mobile, both on the handset and in the auto. I spoke of Sirius' need to adapt its technology to provide video as well as audio content. Portability remains a big open business opportunity as is the ability to move video across different screens.

Cellular companies and mobile handsets have a chance to gain this business if the timing and consumer need is rights. "The digital switch will let live video be sent to mobile devices -- phones, computers, car systems -- on the newly available analog spectrum. Contenders include MobiTV, Qualcomm's Flo TV and Transpera." Is this what the consumer wants? Is the timing now? "The young consumers who are more likely to watch television on their mobile phones tend to watch on-demand programs -- videos that can be played whenever the viewer chooses -- rather than live TV, " according to Lewis Ward, Research Manager at IDC. My personal opinion is that live sports is the only reason to buy a mobile video package. Movies on demand for the kids on a long road trip might be an option, but DVDs would seem to be so much cheaper for the amount of use in the car.

I still recall so many years ago when the next big thing was video phones; seeing who you are talking to. Twenty years later, it is still not widely embraced. Skype offers that connection but in my household, 99.9% of our phone use is still over landlines and cellular. Will mobile video take off like cable, barely materialize like video phones, or takeoff and then drop like satellite radio. Digital transition is finally here and the entertainment landscape continues to change.

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