Carriers are promoting live TV availability, but is this a service people really want or one that they could actually use? This may be a case of the technology being used to try to create a need rather than being used to fill in where needed.
A new feature that carriers and some providers are promoting is mobile TV. While it is cool to show someone live television on your mobile phone now that high speed wireless data networks are expanding, I have often wondered when someone would actually watch TV on their phone. We have been able to get offline movies and TV on our PDAs and smartphones for a few years now and I do actually put shows on my devices when I travel to watch on the airplane. Installing offline content is an enjoyable experience because you can optimize the video for the device, however online, live content still leaves something to be desired with sketchy connections that cause skipping and low quality output. I have SlingPlayer Mobile on my Windows Mobile devices and it is fun to watch people's expression when I show them my DVR content on my device or mess with my kids by changing the channel from work, but I don't sit and watch content for any extended periods of time. According to a recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, the interest in watching television on a mobile phone hasn't yet been embraced by the targeted audience.
According to the survey results, cost and the mixed quality of the video content were the two major obstacles to increasing viewership. Research firm studies showed only 1% to 3% of mobile phone subscribers watched videos on their phone. I commute an hour each way to and from work, but even someone like me with this available downtime doesn't watch live TV on my mobile phone. We have the ability to get live TV, but who has the time available to watch it on their phone and who would watch it on their phone rather than watching it on a regular TV? Thanks to Brighthand for the link.