Mobile TV and Video-on-the-Go
After the 2005 CES, we observed that mobile video--we called it "video-on-the-go" or "vidi-go"--was the next big thing. Nine months later the contest is underway to find out which implementations of the concept will stick and which are a flash in the pan.
Although the press and analysts have had a good time airing their skepticism about whether consumers will spend time (and money) watching video on their mobile phones, that hasn't prevented the deals from proliferating. One of the most recent is that MTV Networks will be licensing Warner Music Group's music video catalog to create short form videos for mobile device users.
This month's big news in the mobile video segment came from Apple's much anticipated announcement of its video iPod in 30 gig and 60 gig versions ($299 and $399 respectively). Apple has added music videos to iTunes, which will sell for $1.99. They also made a deal with Disney and ABC to sell episodes from 5 selected TV shows, and a few short films from Pixar, which will cost $1.99 for each show. This will be an interesting chance to see what consumers might watch on a 2.5 inch, 320x240 pixels screen.
Some time ago, TiVo announced a "TiVo To Go" program, which allows consumers to transfer their TiVo recordings to portable devices and laptop computers. The newest addition to this category was EchoStar's launch of a line of PocketDish portable multimedia devices. The product is built on Archos equipment, which comes in screen sizes of 2.2", 4" and 7" widescreen. They retail for $329, $499 and $599 respectively.
In Korea, LG Electronics has added a TiVo-like capability to their TV mobile phones. The new handsets, unveiled at the recent Korea Electronics Show, receive satellite TV and can pause broadcasts while you take a phone call. The phones have 80MB of internal memory and can record up to an hour of programming.
( www.mtv.com ) ( www.wmg.com ) ( www.apple.com ) ( www.disney.com ) ( www.abc.com ) ( www.pixar.com ) ( www.tivo.com ) ( www.dishnetwork.com ) ( www.archos.com ) ( www.lge.com )