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Why TV On A Mobile Phone Isn’t That Interesting

by Sean P. Aune | June 14, 2010

You would think the idea of watching TV anywhere, any time would be a huge hit with Americans as we are known as TV junkies, but have you ever noticed how few people actually do it?

For people with long commutes, maybe it’s a different beast, but I just haven’t gotten the whole “watch TV anywhere!” concept as being that great.  Unless you have earphones with you, which I don’t carry all that often, do you really want to fire up TV streaming in the doctor’s office?  When you’re waiting in line at the department of motor vehicles?  Just when are you supposed to watch this great invention that is supposed to bring you entertainment at all times that it doesn’t end up annoying someone else?

sling_bb_boldThen there is a whole load of other factors such as image quality and the size of the screen.  Yes, screens are getting bigger, but do you still want to watch TV on something that small?  I can’t imagine doing that for long would be good on your eyes.  And when I tried out a sample video on my HTC Hero from Sprint TV, I found the quality choppy and virtually unwatchable.

One of the biggest factors in my mind is also the amount of data it requires to stream television.  With companies like AT&T introducing tiered data plans, people are going to become increasingly mindful of how much data they are using.  Is anyone going to want to eat up their monthly allotment of bandwidth on video of questionable quality?  Highly doubtful, but it’s a service that’s still there if you want to use it.

This is a trend I don’t see going anywhere soon, carriers will continue to put it on phones, and people will continue to not use it.  What does irritate me about this is that fine, I don’t want to use it, I don’t, but why should I be stuck with the icon and the lost memory on my phone?  For instance, on my HTC Hero I can’t uninstall Sprint TV or the NASCAR video apps even though I have no intention of ever using either.  I understand some people might, but for those of us who have no interest in them, at least let us dump them!

Perhaps I’m alone in this, perhaps there is some secret cabal of loyal mobile television watchers that I am unaware of, but I sure don’t know who they are, or how they see that well.

What say you?  Do you find TV on your mobile phone a good idea?  Do you use it?  Do you know anyone who does?


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...


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