back to article You'll learn to love mobile TV

Prophets predict the mobile phone will kill the fixed line and the internet will kill newspapers. What usually happens is the old systems shuffle up to make space. Nothing dies. Television didn't kill cinema, cinema didn't kill theatres. The internet means newspapers carry less advertising and some things, like stock prices, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    How paid for this ad?

    Ok so where are the objective counter arguements?

    The screen is tiny. TV is visual, so needs to be seen.

    It really will only to those who use public transport for more than about 30 minutes a day.

    They compare it to the walkman. Well on the whole you can, walk the dog, jog, dig the garden and so whislt listening to music. Unless you want to splat into the first lampost, you can't do the same with TV.

    It will have a market, but I don't think it will be the magic bullet the phone companies are so desperate to load.

  2. Martin

    I agree

    I only listen to the radio so I don't have to concentrate on driving(*). There's no way TV, on mobile or anything else, is going to become an accompaniment to driving.

    * Mostly joking. But I also listen out for traffic reports telling me I can't get to where I want to go.

  3. Chad H.
    Stop

    I accept your premise, but not your conclusion.

    premise: dowloading is threatening tv

    way to get around that: seek other revenue streams

    How does "mobile tv streaming" even come close to resovong that. Ipod's hold ybs already, if I really want to watch a tiny screen, I can do it just like on my of, torrent and watch, like many iPod owners already do.

    The "correct" conclusion is more in programme advertising, yes, just like the gilmore girls episode " I get a sidekick out of you" (the episodes plotline revolved around a teenage daughter manipulating her father to buy a t-mobile sidekick).

    More product placement is the advertisers weapon against torrent/fast forward loss.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Set Top box replacement

    If manufactures allow people to use the cellphone with DVB-H/T to interface to those portable DVD/TV screens installed in minivans and some new high-end vehicles, then this may take off. Furtheremore, the Operators should allow the mobile phone to become a Set Top replacement that would enable the user to view their content either on the go or at home, when connected to their 1080p HD TVs. Only then will the operators be able to create a business model and revenue stream that the consumer will be willing to buy.

  5. Mike Crawshaw
    Coat

    @ Stu (Public Transport Market)

    "It really will only to those who use public transport for more than about 30 minutes a day."

    That's actually a pretty large market. When you think of the number of people who work in London, Manchester, Leeds and other places where it's tricky and / or expensive to get a car to, public transport is used daily by millions, often for over a half hour, especially when you include "waiting for the bloody train" time, and remember that you're going both to and from. So the potential target market of people doing nothing other than watching that tiny screen is huge. And it gives them another way to avoid making eye contact with each other in the meantime, which is obviously very desirable...

    Personally, I would never, ever use it, but I'm somewhat less than a fan of the crap they serve up on tv channels at the best of times. Advertising is something I ignore / actively avoid, except when it's particularly odious, in which case I make a mental note never to deal with the company in question (Halifax, anyone?)

    Mine's the one with the novel in the pocket to read on the train.

  6. Herby

    But I don't want to watch TV on a postage stamp!

    I want a nice big multi-inch LCD/Plasma/CRT/Projection system where I can lounge around and swill beverages and eat popcorn. I don't think this is going to be "mobile" any time soon.

    Besides, if I'm "mobile" I'm out and about. Paying attention to where I'm going and how I'm getting there. The last thing I need is to watch "Desperate Housewives" (which I don't anyway!).

  7. Tim Bradshaw Silver badge
    Pirate

    So how are these programs funded

    If everyone is going to download stuff and strip the ads out, who pays the bills to make the content?

  8. Rob
    Paris Hilton

    goddamn adverts

    i hate adverts, i really do, who are those fuckers to tell me what i want or need anyway?

    the bbc is license funded, no ads, ITV, C4, not funded, have ads, so far that makes sense, but I'm paying sky for their channels, so why are there adverts on them? (i'm guessing because they can & are greedy)

    -don't even get me started on those atrocious 'brand' adverts that are not even trying to make me buy something, i mean do people sit there and go "oo, audi cars eh, never heard of them before, i think i'll get one because someone told me to"

    surely these idiots will have enough cars or run out of money at some point?

    I've been giving serious thought to getting out of IT and into politics, my main point would be to ban all advertising, no billboards, no ad breaks in the middle of films, no 60% of a magazine full of crap, and especially no radio adverts... -there might be an exception for non-animated text adverts, that take up no more than 0.5% of the viewing area, or somesuch thing.

    it's almost too glorious to imagine

    (oh, and compulsory sterilization for all criminals)

    Paris, as she probably believes everything she gets told, by anyone (and would vote for me)

  9. Pete Silver badge

    lots more flat noses

    There's a basic difference between seeing something and hearing something. It's to do with attention.

    Unless you're some species of bat, you don't use your ears to help you navigate the mean streets. That means that ears are largely redundant when you're outdoors. They can be a positive disadvantage when the other half - or the kids kick-off, too. What this means is that using your ears for something else, while you go about the arduous and stressful task of living, is quite possible and frequently better than hearing all the otherr stuff that's going on around you.

    Contrast that with looking at things. In broad terms, you can only see one thing at a time. We're constantly flicking our sight in different directions: checking the road (or pavement) in front of us, taking a split second to focus on something from our periphery, checking out the nice-looking individual coming towards up, making sure the nasty looking person isn't about to rob us.Bring a portablt TV into that mix and you have the worst of all worlds. You can't function AND watch TV at the same time - that's why we have sofas. Watch TV while crossing a road and your relatives will conclude that nature actively selects against this trait. Try it while driving or cycling and you'll probably take a few other people with you. Even walking down the road while watching TV is a bad idea. Apart from being oblivious to the people around you - or being distracted from the program so often as to make watching it pointless, you're much more likely to bump into someone, or smack into a tree or lampost and damage your face.

    That's why,even when books were the height of popularity, people always made sure they were stationary while reading. Postable TV has all the same disadvantages as well as being impossible to see the tiny little, postage-stamp sized screen in anything approading sunshine.

    Maybe a vaguely distracting trinket for the terminally fidgety, but for normal people? stick to the iPod and save your nose.

  10. Henry Cobb
    Joke

    Product Placement!

    Future TV programs will be provided free to all networks and downloadable for free and sharable, etc.

    How will it be paid for? Well I can't claim credit for the payment process, as it's already been done to death...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Truman_Show

    Truman's "wife" who holds a profession as a nurse at the local hospital. She daily expresses product placements, one of the many occurrences making Truman curious about life.

    -HJC

  11. jimmyroamer
    Stop

    What about people with glasses

    I know for a fact that I am not the only one who has to wear glasses to read things close to my face whereas I don't need them for the TV 'cos at 29" or greater I normally don't have a problem (actually less than 29" but greater than say 7 or 8 I am also ok). The people who keep touting mobile phone tv at us seem to have a target audience of people under the age of 40 with perfect eyesight (and teeth as well probably). Maybe they need to recover from the coma induced when they walked in front of a car when watching tv on their less than 2" phone screen with crap resolution.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No title required, no sirree bob.

    "Prophets predict the mobile phone will kill the fixed line and the internet will kill newspapers."

    Just like home-taping killed music, eh?

    I can think of two reasons why mobile TV has tanked: first, there's the obvious problem of the small screen and secondly, there's the oft-overlooked fact that 99% of what's shown on the old shit-pump is, well, shit.

  13. Joseph Zygnerski
    Thumb Up

    Mobile TV is great

    I love watching TV shows or Japanese animation on my Zune. As long as the picture quality is good, the subtitles are readable and I don't miss any of the action (sometimes shows like Torchwood come out too dark). Admittedly, I have a commute of about an hour each way.

    And I have walked down the street trying to catch the last few minutes of an episode of Torchwood, because I'm not as likely to put it on when I get home. Haven't walked into anything yet.

    I can't see watching it on my phone, though, unless phone/mp3 player integration gets better.

  14. Tanuki
    Paris Hilton

    The Internet is for Porn...

    My conjecture: "Mobile TV" will only become a success when the handset-vendors offer displays with a deliberately-restricted viewability angle. Think about it: You don't want the person sitting beside you on the bus casually shoulder-surfing and discovering your personal preference in porn.

    Paris: because she's not viewable at any angle.

  15. Nigel Rook

    I'm with Stu

    Mobile TV, it's not exactly a new concept. Heck I had a little portable television, a little 3" screen jobby, something like 10 years ago. It functioned perfectly well even living out in the sticks like I did, the technology existed, it worked, and yet I never met anyone else who had one.

    OK, so an iPod Touch has a bigger screen meaning slightly less intense squinting is required, but it's still painfully small. It's a device for use on the move, except you can't actually use it if you're moving under your own power, and if you do, I call first in line to dip my shoulder as you walk into me.

    How many people do you know who actually watch video on their iPods? Plenty of people may have some on there, just so they can go "wow, cool, loook at this", but very few people actually use it as a proper function. It's a gadget, a fancy thing for technophiles to show off, something to wow your less technically literate friends... actually, where do I get one?

  16. Tony Paulazzo
    Flame

    Actually (stupid needin a title)

    The screen size problem is temporary and to do with cost, I think within the next few years that issue will disappear as it becomes mainstream, or fed up to a pair of glasses to give 3d vision filling TV*, though of course as the tech gets better the actual content will be even more vapid and mind numbing....

    'Thank God Sky lets me know by that little icon which channel I'm watching, otherwise I might forget - and fall of my chair, or drown in my bowl of soup, or lose the use of my legs...'

    Douglas Adams (RIP) had the right idea, pretend to build 3 spaceship, but only build 1, herd all the middlemanagement, advertisers, BPI etc leeches (we'd better keep the phone sanitisers tho'), in fact, anyone who doesn't in some small way make another persons life better in some measurable way - and shoot them off into space.

    Sorry, rant over.

    *With a little radar window warning you of approaching lamp posts, muggers etc.

    ** In point of fact (and this method gets rid of piracy in one fell swoop), del advertising, and get the governments to pay for it all. After all, they are 'The servant of the people.', well this master doesn't want, or need, any more nuclear bombs or made up wars to keep the army in training / justified to take 1/3 of my wages (+ taxed on everything else).

    And, just in case you're still reading, is there anywhere an excel spreadsheet that does show how my government is spending all this money it does take? (and the BBC). Flames because I'm starting to get sick of the doublethink being perpetrated on the great British public.

  17. Robert Armstrong
    Thumb Down

    Then Death to the Kitty I say!

    I tried mobiTV for 60 days using AT&T. It was not worth the price to me to subscribe ($9.99/month) so I dropped the service. The cellphone form factor was the deal breaker. The content was decent but the screen was too small and picture quality was degraded due to changes in the ambient lighting around me, it was difficult to see the broadcasts clearly at times. I believe that an ad supported, free to consumer mobiTV market has a chance to resonate with the general public if there are larger screens that can be packed onto a cellphone device, otherwise, it is a niche for commuters and geeks. MobiTV is not a must have application for me.

    Here kitty, kitty, time to.....

  18. david jw bailey
    Stop

    no, we will not.

    this is just another bit of desperate advertiser horseshit designed to part clients from their wallets.

    won't work. wrong screen format. wrong interface. wrong environment (train, car, pub, office?). awful - and I mean utterly unacceptable - battery life for the next few years.

    everything I have ever known about device design says "this is a bad idea".

    won't stop the telcos (still desperate after spending £20bn) and the advertisers smoking each others' socks in a mad rush to foist this on us though

  19. oxo
    Coat

    Cat Keynes

    Ah, I was at school with her brother Milton.

    Dull sort of chap..

    coat etc...

  20. F Seiler

    how mean

    What a despicable idea. How about, i'm going to serve 1TB of of ad+drm free HDTV content for every kitten you kill for me not being interested watching on a crappy screen (i'm fine dozing off on trains, thanks).

  21. Lex Steers
    Thumb Up

    How about donations?

    Donation systems seem to work well for music... big artists get huge donations because of big fan base, and smaller bands get exposure and some cash. Granted, most artists always made their big money on performances and that doesn't translate into TV or Movies... but I'd throw some money down to save Jericho or Firefly (from the US, have no idea if either of these shows have or will air in the UK).

    I know alot of viewers who see no need to support Fox, CBS, ABC, or NBC since we don't like 20 hours of their daily programming. Why pay for it?

  22. Gareth

    Product placement and sponsorship is the future

    TV networks live off advertising money (unless you're the BBC). Advertising dollars are being stretched further and further with all these infinite number of channels available (cable TV, Internet, etc).

    Producing programmes is getting cheaper and cheaper, plus requiring less expertise (note: not good quality TV programmes, but certainly true for the prole-fodder which makes up a large percentage of cable TV).

    Perhaps advertisers will eventually start funding and broadcasting programmes themselves, cutting out TV networks entirely.

    Now that would be interesting.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Size Matters (maybe not to Cat, but to a lot of other people)

    "There's no way TV, on mobile or anything else, is going to become an accompaniment to driving"

    By law a visual TV device in a car has to switch off or not be able to be seen by the driver if the vehicle is considered to be in motion.

    DVB-H might be OK in a car but other commentators are right, not on a 2 or 3.5 inch scree on your phone and not on the move (unless you're sat on a train that has broken down without your laptop).

    Culture takes time to change, some people LIKE broadcast because they are used to it - you don't have to think, you can sit and be given entertainment for the night. The BT Video-on-demand trial in the early 1990s proved this (though the menu navigation was dire). Some people have large DVD collections and will still sometime watch a broadcast film even if they own it on DVD.

  24. Charlie van Becelaere
    Gates Horns

    If it ever were to catch on

    then my huge investment in battery companies will be shown to have been brilliant!

    Seriously, how can anyone envisage still larger drains on our devices' already far too short battery life? Perhaps our coming alien overlords can supply more capacious batteries (that won't catch fire and explode?), but until then, I'll watch when I'm home, thanks.

    evil billg (is that redundant?) simply because he's a freak.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm...

    Last I looked even the LP Record hadn't gone the same way as the LP Record...

  26. eddiewrenn

    me likey Video on phones

    I love converting my DVDs to MPEGS or torrenting, and if I'm travelling a lot I'll load up vids on my 4gb Sony k800 mobile - that's pretty much 40 half-hour shows at 80mb each, plus some music, and the picture is sharp and very watchable - used it for flights, trains, watching while falling asleep etc. Now that we are capable of handling our own digital media, there's a big market coming in.

    Actual streamng - I'm initerested in it, but I can't see it ever becoming essential for me, other than news or sports highlights. But I like having a PVP/phone on me. Combined with camera, Opera and games, it's my geeky fave at the mo.

  27. The Wanderer

    Size Matters & the Killer App

    I'm old enough to remember when Seiko first introducted wristwatch TVs

    (http://www.retrothing.com/2006/04/stretching_the_.html). To be sure, that was '83, and the technology certainly has vastly improved (though battery life really hasn't), but once I got over my "oh, wow, kewl" reaction to it, it occurred to me that, well, gee, it's a 2" screen (actually, the Seiko's primeval mobile TV screen was an even smaller 1.1"(!!!!)) and if I have to squint to watch it, why bother? Moving the screen from my wrist to my phone didn't get around that. Even an hour long commute every day won't get around that.

    So, what kind of video would I want to watch as such small resolution? Well, what made cameras on cell phones so wildly popular? Instant video! (And yes, I know a lot of cell phones have video as well as camera functions built in.) Or, posting the stuff you see all the time on YouTube to your friends.

    Or maybe offering teasers to the latest show you just gotta see. It's advertising anyway, and what a way for a content provider to get you to watch something on a "real" TV by sponsoring a "free" video networking? Think about it: You may not want to see an entire episode of Torchwood on your small screen, but a teaser/highlights?

    There's a killer app, maybe.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Advertisers really should catch up

    I watch several web video shorts every day

    Wallstrip

    Moblogic

    Political Lunch

    All of them have advertising built in, Moblogic and formally Wallstrip have the US sponsored by thing. In the case of Moblogic, i know that Saturn make cars and they do hybrids. To me Saturn is now a known brand although they dont sell them in the UK. The adds fore and aft of the episode are short enough for me not to bother skipping them and nice enough not to want to. They get two adverts directed at me, every day sometimes more if i watch it twice.

    Now imagine if a big boy like Sony or M$ or Toyota etc got in on this the the advert would have relevance and reach instead of just reach.

    Surely the add people should be looking at this as a means of getting adverts to me a hard to reach customer base. I strip out adverts from my browsing, i dont watch programs with ad breaks as i just watch them on demand or V+ so they can be skipped. I am also almost add blind having been born in an era of mass advertising so they have to work extra hard to get to me.

    Surely a good advertising method would be say for (insert favourite show) to sell and ep over the web to me directly and subsidise it to reduce the cost as much as possible by putting an advert fore and aft of the program. The middleman, aka the networks, are cut out, the advertising reaches me, i am unlikely to skip as its not worth the hassle and as long as it doesn't break up the show in the middle i wont care much. They could be sponsored by global brands or make it country specific.

    Political Lunch uses another method, they use Blip and little text adverts relevant to my location, slightly more annoying and distracting but still ok and acceptable to my advertising immune mind that filters most normal advertising out.

    Perhaps if the advertising folk sorted themselves out the freetards and paytards may find some neutral ground that some of them may be willing to occupy. If the advertising is worth enough the shows may even be free to download and the freetards and paytards would love that. Imagine, XBOX 360 or Halo sponsoring BSG or what have you.

    Also the BBC should allow iplayer to be used outside the UK but it should be LOADED with advertising so they can stop shanking me for licence fee increases. I have no opposition to the licence fee but i would like them to be a little more clever about flogging it to johnny foreigner with advertising to offset my expense.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Alternative MobileTV for Nokia Video Center

    Check this out http://piiptv.japo.fi. it was not the easiest one to install, but eventually it was pretty straight forward after I realized to watch mediaportal video guides.

    If i could get same stuff out of my STB I would be extremely happy. Maybe this kind of usage could be one use case for mobile devices?

  30. Paul
    Boffin

    Yes, but no, but only if...

    As someone who now regularly watches TV shows on the tube using their N95, and someone who used to own one of those Virgin lobster 'watch live TV' phones I consider myself well experienced with this.

    My comments - live broadcast *does* *not* *work* - even if the flakey reception (and non-existent underground reception) was sorted out, the whole point of mobile device TV is that it fits around your idle time on public transport - you press play when you get to the platform - you press pause when you change trains - a broadcast schedule just wouldn't work.

    Secondly, I was initially sceptical about the screen size - but it's down to your choice of content - The Simpsons or South Park works perfectly on the N95 screen but I struggle with movies or drama because they're filmed for something much bigger. That's not to say it would only work for cartoons - it's to say that content may have to be specially edited for effective mobile use, with more close-up shots for example.

    If DVB-H can trickle-download content for later on-demand viewing then it might be a goer, but those banking on armies of people watching live are throwing their money away, unless the content is going to be live events like sport - and even there, some pause or replay facility would be desirable.

  31. Charles Manning

    Where's the money?

    Like OSS, money is not the issue. TV programs want to be free. Content might be limited to shows about bearded blokes with sandals trying to get us to use Hurd.

    But then, NBC is working on this new advert/show idea where they go further than product placement. The advertisers get to partially direct the show. Essentially the show is just a long ad. This model will work for the advertisers & show writes no matter the distribution mechanism.

    As many have pointed out, Mobile TV is really a solution looking for a problem. It appeals to far too small a segment of the population (mainly non-driving commuters) to warrant large investment. The exception might be sports highlights snippets etc.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What's the bandwidth in DVB-H?

    The H is for handheld so it seems likely that the bandwidth (frame rate and resolution) is oriented towards 320x240 or similarly small low-res mobile/handheld displays, at low frame rates. Is that a safe assumption (it's not obvious from a quick search)?

    If so, it seems that even "back of the seat" in-vehicle applications (say 7" screen?) are going to be unacceptably poor.

    The number of people that want to watch TV on a handheld has been small for years, and I see no reason to expect it to grow significantly. When I bought my first colour TV, many many years ago, Dixons (sorry) were giving away free Casio 3" LCD TVs. It rarely got used, and when it did the batteries died almost immediately.

    If I wanted to "trickle feed" a file containing a TV program to my handheld, why would I do it using a TV standard rather than a "trickle feed" file transfer standard?

    Incidentally, how do you make Teletext work on a 3" screen? Or subtitles? How do you make the footy results legible, or the scoreboard legible at the cricket match, or even the Olympics? These were the kind of things I wanted from my handheld TV, same as from my big TV, yet they were also the most inherently impossible, because of the handheld screen size.

    What about the small print on the adverts? Some things just can't be scaled down, and yet some of them are mandatory otherwise (for example) the adverts are illegal ("Written quotations are available", "your home may be at risk", etc, in a 4x3-pixel font? Interesting thought...)

    Anyway, everybody knows that the future is IPtv. Just ask El Reg's tame IPtv expert (or maybe not - where is Alex these days? [1]).

    Paris? Would anyone watch Paris in 320x240? Is the detail important at that level?

    [1] Alex is around: http://www.azcameron.co.uk/2008/04/14/must-read-how-illegal-drugs-are-made/

  33. Richard Taylor
    Thumb Down

    Roller-blind screen needed

    The UK operators have already proven that Mobile TV doesn't work, as it stands right now.

    What works now:

    - snippets of TV, says 5 mins

    - free stuff

    - people do accept ads (Cat's right there)

    - sideloading on PCs

    What's needed for success:

    - big display like roller blind/folded LCD (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/13/fujitsu_epaper/ or similar)

    - 5 min daily soap

    - 5 min daily news

    - 5 mins celeb b*ll**ks (for Great Unwashed, miaow)

    - 5 min specialist summary (MotoGP for me please)

    - direct loading, not sideloading. Mobiles are about instant gratification. Only us geeks can be arsed to sideload 60 mins of TV...

    So, not yet Cat. Maybe, just maybe, the iPhones of this world are large enough, and might get become enough, but they are bloody big for the hip pocket (pun intended). Maybe a iPhone folder, like a DS?

  34. Tom Toughill
    Stop

    Errr sorry to be a killjoy here...

    ...but isn't this illegal? I know downloading Music / Films etc are. I thought the same was true of TV Shows, especially abroad. I know people can record of the telly, the now dead VCR is a testament to that, but I would be interested if someone could clear this up for me and explain the legal situation

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've seen it...

    ...it's awful.

    </marvin>

  36. Mark SPLINTER

    Turn off your TV set and do something less boring instead

    The problem with all these predictions about TV is that they assume people actually like TV.

    As far as I can see, TV only existed when it was practically forced on us, and now we've got better things to do. We can even make our own TV, and it's fun even if the production costs are lower.

    How many people would rather facebook and ebay than watch unproductive, unsatisfying TV? Will that number increase?

    Humans prefer to do real things. TV is the lowest, most useless form of entertainment, and it's dying.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Go for it, Rob.

    "I've been giving serious thought to getting out of IT and into politics, my main point would be to ban all advertising, no billboards, no ad breaks in the middle of films, no 60% of a magazine full of crap, and especially no radio adverts... -there might be an exception for non-animated text adverts, that take up no more than 0.5% of the viewing area, or somesuch thing.

    it's almost too glorious to imagine"

    Closet fascists like Rob love telling people what's good for them. And banning what isn't good for them. But the only way they'll ever learn that nobody shares their views is to put them to the democratic test. Please, please stand Rob - and count all 11 votes you'll get.

    Then we can give you voodoo dolly to stick pins into, and the rest of us can get on with enjoying life.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Insect-sponsored nu media

    @Tim: "If everyone is going to download stuff and strip the ads out, who pays the bills to make the content?"

    That's easy: Government and corporations will sponsor the media directly. They already do - that latest Nu Labor obesity/smoking campaign keeps the local radio station going. Didn't I read here at El Reg that more than half of UK commercial radio advertising is already bought by Nu Lab? Soon the sponsors will have more direct control over debates that go off-message.

    Charles Manning has see the future: "This model will work for the advertisers & show writes no matter the distribution mechanism." But he hasn't looked at the consequences: the puppets don't upset the puppetmaster, who has a near-infinite supply of writers.

    Mugabe-style totalitarians who lock up journalists and ban newspapers are behind the times. Much easier to let the internet enforce conformity, by destroying the ad-supported business model. There's no kickback at all.

  39. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    If I wanted to watch TV on the train

    I'd pull out my eee. . .

    320x240 - you've got to be kidding.

    Whatever happened to widescreen?

  40. Andy Hards

    I work on planes

    the number of people watching things on their nano's, phones PSP's etc is growing all the time. On a plane you can't watch live TV but those same people would on buses and trains I'm sure. I know I would on the train every day if I could. it needs to be like Tivo/Sky+ though.

  41. Gordon

    It won't work.

    It'll work about as well as "Video Calling" and video clips has on 3G. IE it sounds great until you try to use it, then you realise how crap it is and either walk out the store, remove it from your mobile tarrif or simply never bother to use it again. A mobile screen isn't big enough, and people won't be arsed to carry a dedicated device that is. Witness the almost complete failure of the tiny UHF LCD televisions that have been launched and promptly forgotten countless times over the last twenty plus years - people want their Telly big, noisy and comfortable to watch. Why else do TV screens get bigger and bigger whilst every other domestic appliance gets smaller and smaller? Why is it always the focus of the lounge, opposite the most comfortable chair?? Any clue as to why most people look for smallness in a mobile above almost anything else?

    And I don't see there being a mass-market for people standing in bus-cues watching TV. People usually either listen to their MP3 player, or read a book. Or both. "Things to do whilst waiting for a bus" already exist. A book is perfectly at home in a gym bag, even being dropped down a flight of stairs won't render it useless (usually). Try saying THAT about a sensibly-priced mass-produced telly!

    There are technical problems, too. Like how to make the screen bright enough to watch in daylight whilst also providing enough battery life to be worthwhile? Since the antenna is non-directional you'll struggle to get bandwith enough to make a good picture. It's not like a mobile - Don't forget you can drop 100th of a second of speech and people just hear a click. Drop 1000th of a second of video data and you loose that frame - video doesn't just require more bandwidth it also requires better QOS.

    Finally, the business model itself. Mobile phone companies will doubtless want to charge a fortune for service to "recoup" their 3G expendature - and will almost certainly price the system into failure. Once they've done that it's practically impossible to change the publics perception that a service is expensive - even when you drop the price! Initial programming is going to be cheaply made, so content won't sell it either.

    it's a dead duck. It's been done, it's failed before. It'll fail again and merely changing the technology won't fix that. People don't want micro-televisions.

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