There are a lot of plans on the table to supply the owners of portable devices with video that can be viewed on the go. These schemes range from dedicated over the air digital TV channels that are designed to specifically target users of portable devices like mobile phones to data networks that run in parallel to the normal digital voice network that allows mobile phone users to communicate using traditional speech. Among all of the different schemes that are used to supply users of mobile devices with video, there’s one source of video that’s largely overlooked: the Internet.
While most mobile phones don’t have the Internet capabilities that allow them to access online video, this is an easy task for the vast majority of smart phones. After all, part of the whole point of smart phones is to enable their users to surf the Web, and this is more true with the latest generation of smart phones than it ever has been before. After all, many devices like the iPhone, the Helio Ocean, the newer Blackberries, and the Palm Treo; can all almost serve as laptop computers in miniature.
The iPhone by Apple and the Helio Ocean are especially adept at this because of the fact that they both of 16:9 aspect ratio screens and can take advantage of WiFi hot spots as a source of Internet access, and most WiFi connections are capable of providing streaming video. The Prada Phone (though not available in the US) and several Nokia models can also be used this way.
While a lot of people don’t take advantage of it, there’s a lot of TV content available for free on the Internet. Most of the major TV networks provide streaming video feeds of their most popular TV shows. Many other TV network’s will provider short “Teaser” videos about shows that can provide shorter entertainment and give viewers an idea of what a TV show is about even if they don’t have time to actually watch it. There’s also a largely untapped resource of video in the form of news sites like CNN and NPR and a wide variety of other media outlets that supply video. And, of course, there’s always YouTube for a huge variety of interesting- if unprofessional- video entertainment to enjoy.
Another source of video for some types of portable devices is the video download. Everything from popular mainstream TV shows to full length movies are available for download from various online video stores. While downloading a video from an online video store and then side loading it to a portable device obviously requires much more planning than simply watching streaming video directly off of the Web, it provides a lot more flexibility. For example, these videos can be viewed on portable devices in places where an Internet connection is unavailable or unreliable, making this a great option for traveling.
Plus, some of the newest smart phones mentioned above can handle this kind of video as well, though they won’t be able to store as much of it as a dedicated portable video device.
All of these examples illustrate that there are already a wide variety of choices available when it comes to mobile TV viewing.