Mobile Video

TelcoTV's Smaller Screen

5:00 AM -- Next week, I'll be trolling the floors of TelcoTV, but as Light Reading Mobile's reporter in attendance, I'm hoping to find some wireless themes in the thick of the TV displays.

Namely, I'm curious if the topic of mobile TV will crop up. With the exception of MobiTV Inc. 's converged TV service and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)'s FLO TV failure, there wasn't much said about mobile TV at last month's CTIA wireless-focused show. I'm hoping that the telcos and cable companies at TelcoTV will pick up the slack. (See CTIA Update: Day 1 at CTIA E&A and CTIA 2010: Mobile TV Vendors Learn From FLO TV.)

Their interest in mobile TV is different from that of the wireless operators and dedicated vendors. Telcos and MSOs see smartphones as just another (monetizable) screen. They already have the content consumers want to see (i.e., not dedicated mobile shows) and the bundling power to lower the price, one of the reasons for FLO TV's demise.

Most pay-TV providers are thinking about the third screen, but haven't truly extended their services to the new territory. (See Comcast's TV Everywhere Play Breaks Out of Beta , Comcast's 'Xfinity' to Go Mobile in 2010 , CableLabs Preps iPad App Framework , Avail-TVN Bankrolls $30M TV Everywhere Play, Open Up & Say: 'TV Everywhere' , and Moto & Verizon Plan TV Tablet.)

Over-the-top video provider Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) has actually come the closest, and it's a service worth replicating. (See Leading Lights: Mobile Services/Apps Finalists.)

I'm not expecting any groundbreaking mobile TV announcements next week, but hopefully there will be service provider-driven discussion around mobile TV that goes beyond just touting the possibilities of TV Everywhere.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:19:32 PM
re: TelcoTV's Smaller Screen

I agree with you about the two forms of mobile TV, but I wouldn't kill off MobiTV yet. They've been doing well for a subscription TV service. I think if they combine forces with free-to-air TV or get operator partners for their new version of TV Everywhere - they will be around for awhile.

Russo0 12/5/2012 | 4:19:32 PM
re: TelcoTV's Smaller Screen

Sarah, mobile Tv will take two forms:

1) WEB video on mobile....Netflix, Hulu, Youtube...already happening

2) TV Everywhere, and like, clients for mobile....Take your TV service with you...

The latter has been lacking for a number of reasons: priority, devices, licensing rights, biz models.....but it will pick up

MobiTV was an interesting effort, but will die....

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:19:31 PM
re: TelcoTV's Smaller Screen

I guess its time to throw away my old handheld over the air "mobile" device....


As clearly they are not possible.



digits 12/5/2012 | 4:19:30 PM
re: TelcoTV's Smaller Screen

It's all about the business model, though, isn't it? Carriers are finding it hard to make profitable margins from fixed line video (IPTV) and mobile video looks a long way from adding to the bottom line.

When mobile video can deliver some EPS then it will kick off. Maybe that time is now, and maybe that discussion will be had at TelcoTV. But that's the killer criterion, I think -- will it deliver profit.

kumaramitabh 12/5/2012 | 4:19:04 PM
re: TelcoTV's Smaller Screen

With FLO TV announcing its close of service in 2011 and ATSC mobile DTV still taking its time, no one seems to be waiting for things to happen.. in fact they are moving very rapidly for comfort.

Mobile TV ( or Video if you prefer) is now strongly making a comeback with the new devices supporting Internet TV or OTT TV. The AT&T U-Verse extended to mobile devices is only one such service.

iPhones and IPADs with Os 3.0 and above come with HLS streaming protocols to efffectively deliver Mobile streaming video using HTTP. Google is not behind with its May 2010 announceent of WebM using VP8 codecs and Matroska technology to provide smooth streaming. Microsoft has cut its teeth on Silverlight Mobile for high quality streaming players.

Most new Smartphones and Mobile devices we seee in 2011 will be fully capable of viewing OTT TV delivered over Telco networks.



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