I'm Not Getting The Picture
By Carlo Longino, Thu Oct 02 19:30:00 GMT 2003

I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I really don't understand some of the things that grow to be popular in this industry. It looks like TV on a mobile device is gonna be another one of them.

We told you a few weeks back about Samsung's forthcoming TV phone for Western markets, and they've already got one in Korea, and Japanese manufacturers have been working on handsets that can receive digital broadcasts for some time now.

Now, TIM has said it plans to start broadcasting TV from a few channels via WAP and GPRS. It's not clear if they're going to stream live programming or just have a video-on-demand-style service, but either way, I can't imagine what it will be like to watch TV transmitted over GPRS. Bet that's fun.

This seems to be a trend that's gaining steam. Is it just phone manufacturers and carriers grasping at straws, just looking for the next feature -- regardless of utility or quality -- they can cram in their phones or send across their airwaves?

I remember when Sony introduced their Watchman many years ago here in the US. It was a bit of a sensation when it was first released, but never really caught on. You can still buy a portable TV easily and relatively cheaply, but I can't think of a single person I know that has one. So again, I don't get this -- but will other people? And will they pay for it?