Site Network: Home |


Why Wireless TV Will Fail

By David Haskin Mobile Pipeline

The usual torrent of press releases touting wireless video has grown into a flood lately. Despite the intense hype, though, wireless streaming video is going nowhere fast because it fails the primary test of a successful mobile app.

I say that after having spent some time reviewing Verizon Wireless' V CAST multimedia service, which has wireless streaming video at its core. Verizon did as good a job as can be done when it comes to playing video on a tiny screen at a relatively meager 15 frames per second, but I found the service unsatisfying.

One reason was that I didn't care for the content Verizon Wireless offers. That's a subjective thing for which I don't blame Verizon. The bigger problem for me is that video simply isn't a mobile application.

You can't just add wireless transmission to something to make it a successful mobile app. Rather, successful mobile applications need at pass at least one of two tests, preferably both. First, the app must relate to the process of being mobile. Watching CNN has nothing to do with being mobile. Getting train tickets or airline schedules or the weather does.

Second, it has to work with the physical aspects of being mobile. That means that a) the content must be attractive to use on mobile devices and b) they must be usable while you are, literally, in motion. Watching CNN on a cell phone screen is intrinsically unappealing because the screen is so small and you have to stop doing what you're doing to watch. By contrast, streaming audio works is an ideal mobile application, a fact proven by the millions of music players being sold.

I understand why streaming video is being pushed so hard. Wireless operators are desperate for new revenue streams and phone vendors need technology that will require users to buy new phones. Also, 3G service, which is finally starting to spread, is fast enough for video. And, mobile video has caught on, to some extent, in isolated countries like Korea. In addition, I'm sure marketers will succeed, up to a point, of making wireless video a cool must-have type of thing.

But even if there is some initial uptake, I'm still not buying into the hype. Before wireless video becomes a success in the West, the nature of the content must change as well as the devices to which it is delivered. Until that happens, all the hype will come to nothing.
This guy gets it. The mobile phone as we know it is not a suitable device for TV watching. Yet, every single mobile phone operator and device maker is pushing this as the next big revenue driver for the mobile industry. A quick look at Google News listing for mobile TV brings back 3,800 news stories. The public posture of these companies towards mobile TV is 'if we build it, they will come (and pay a monthly fee)'. I've got the Samsung A700 phone which has mobile TV capability. But I haven't signed up for an extra $10 or $15 a month for a lot of the same reasons outlined in this article. Mobile TV in its present form is neat, but doesn't add a lot of value for me.

Before too long, these mobile phone companies will figure it out. Nobody wants to watch TV on a tiny screen. People need mobile applications that they can interact with while they're walking around, not just while they're sitting and waiting for a bus or something. We need location-aware software that tells us what's around us and relates it back to our own list of action items. And all this of course needs to be delivered in a heads-up, hands free form factor.

The market is ready to see the evolution of the mobile phone from the clamshell design to the eyeglass form factor. The Nomad in its current incarnation may be designed for auto mechanics, but a sleeker version with a Blackberry sized belt-worn computer, and a nicely miniaturized display unit could be the mobile phone of the future.


Post a Comment

This website does not recommend the purchase or sale of any stocks, options, bonds or any investment of any kind. This website does not provide investment advice. Disclaimer and Notices: Disclaimer: This website may contain "forward-looking" information including statements concerning the company's outlook for the future, as well as other statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. The information on this website includes forward looking statements, including statements regarding projections of future operations, product applications, development and production, future benefits of contractual arrangements, growth in demand, as well as statements containing words like believe, estimate, expect, anticipate, target, plan, will, could, would, and other similar expressions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from the results implied or expressed in the forward looking statement. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements are included in MVIS most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading 'Risk factors related to the company's business,' and our other reports filed with the Comission from time to time. Except as expressly required by Federal securities laws, MVIS Blog undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in circumstances, or other reasons. Legal Notice: Although considerable care has been taken in preparing and maintaining the information and material contained on this website, MVIS Blog makes no representation nor gives any warranty as to the currency, completeness, accuracy or correctness of any of the elements contained herein. Facts and information contained in the website are believed to be accurate at the time of posting. However, information may be superseded by subsequent disclosure, and changes may be made at any time without prior notice. MVIS Blog shall not be responsible for, or liable in respect of, any damage, direct or indirect, or of any nature whatsoever, resulting from the use of the information contained herein. While the information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. MVIS Blog has not independently verified the facts, assumptions, and estimates contained on this website. Accordingly, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on the fairness, accuracy, or completeness of the information and opinions contained on this website. Consequently, MVIS Blog assumes no liability for the accompanying information, which is being provided to you solely for evaluation and general information. This website does not contain inside information, proprietary or confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements or otherwise.