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Cell-Phone TV
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Thread: Cell-Phone TV

  1. #1
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    TV may soon beam from cell phone screens:

    The screens may be tiny and the batteries overworked, but the wireless industry is bringing TV to a cell phone near you.


    With the mammoth International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as a backdrop, Verizon Wireless planned Friday to detail a robust new service for mobile phones, one that promises better-quality audio and video -- albeit custom-designed for the numerous constraints of a handheld device.

    Verizon also plans to announce a major increase in the number of markets where its high-speed wireless technology will be available, as well as wider coverage in the 20 markets where it was introduced last year, according to a company source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The new Verizon offering, along with other multimedia wireless services unveiled at CES in Las Vegas, marks a big step in the industry's push to generate revenue from more than just phone calls.

    On Thursday, SmartVideo Technologies Inc. announced deals to deliver live and prerecorded TV programs from ABC News, CNBC, MSNBC and The Weather Channel to cell phones equipped with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile operating system. The service, priced from $13 to $18 a month, is accessed through a Microsoft Web site featuring other forms of content customized for mobile devices.

    Mobile TV important 'eye candy'
    Consumers have already shown an appetite for mobile e-mail, Web browsing, music and video games, but many experts view the public fascination with TV and movies as an especially potent lure for premium wireless services.

    "Video is leaps and bounds above anything else" in terms of importance to users, said Roger Entner, an industry analyst for The Yankee Group. "This can certainly bring people in, because it's really eye candy."


    Users don't want tiny TV
    But even with more bandwidth, it's not so easy to replicate the big screen experience on a device with limited screen size, audio quality, processing power, storage capacity, and battery life -- the last of which tends to suffer with improvements to any of the other factors.

    Further, it's not very clear how long users will want to stare at such a small screen, or whether they'll be in a position to watch anything longer than a few minutes while roaming about.

    That's why Verizon and others are trying not to inflate expectations for the new medium, stressing that most users will only want to watch short bursts of video. Wireless providers have been asking media companies to produce specialized video clips -- brief news reports and "mobisodes," or episodes of real TV programs that run as little as a minute.

    Vodfone Group PLC, part owner of Verizon Wireless with Verizon Communications Inc., forged such a deal in November as it launched its own next-generation wireless service across Europe. The deal with News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox studio calls for a series of one-minute dramas based on its hit TV show "24."

    Nonetheless, innovations with display technologies could make full-length programs and movies more appealing in the future. For instance, thin-film displays stashed inside the device might be unfurled for viewing. Or special eyeglasses might project the image directly in front of the eyes.

    "People don't listen to a silver-dollar-sized speaker on the iPod. We put in high-quality headphones and get totally immersed in the music," said Phil Leigh, president of Inside Digital Media, a research firm in Tampa, Fla.

    He said video needs an analogous development with eyeglass screens -- something that has proven technologically, but not economically feasible for consumers.

    Technology companies are so confident about future demand for mobile TV that Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. are developing competing wireless chips designed specifically to receive and process video signals more efficiently.

    Qualcomm also is investing $800 million to launch a national cellular TV service in 2006 over its own spectrum, broadcasting up to 20 channels for wireless carriers to sell their customers.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6796747/
    "If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work another day in your life."

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  2. #2
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    Japanese mobile phone companies, ie, DoCoMo, developed TV add-on to Cell a couple of years ago. However, I don't see the value of buying one.

    Coz why don't you prefer to watch TV on your Flat Screen TV? lol!

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  3. #3
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    um you can't take your flat screen on the subway, can you? :lol:

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