Me: Poor Quality Video Driving Youth Away from Mobile Video

OK, so I used my interpretation of the write-up of this story that I was lead to in the LA Times. The title the paper used is "No Big Demand for Small Screen: Tech-savvy young people aren't as eager to watch TV on their cellphones and iPods as networks might think." When you read the article, however, it becomes clear that some of the video services are not ready for prime time. A viewer's tolerance for jerky or intermittent video are is hardly going to be limitless. This could be a warning to IPTV providers who should not roll out their services until they really are ready for prime time.

"[A] new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that teens and young adults" are not embracing the technology.

About half of young adults and 4 in 10 teenagers said they were uninterested in watching television shows or movies on computers, cellphones or hand-held devices such as video iPods, the poll found.

While more than 2 out of 5 teens and young adults indicated they were open to viewing this kind of content online, only 14% of teenagers said they wanted to watch television on a cellphone, and 17% said they would view programs on an iPod.

The questions appear hypothetical and, if so, should be interpreted with caution. I continue to remind readers that my father had a Casio TV that was around an inch in height or width. The picture was high definition, given how small it was, and it worked great. No one in my house wanted it, including my dad. I personally am not convinced that viewers will wish to watch traditional television shows on such a small screen. I would suggest that there might be unexpected uses such as an ESPN Sportscast or even the local weather forecast.

I believe one focus of research ought to be an investigation into the tolerance of focusing one's eyes on a small screen, even if the picture is better than whatever is available today. It reminds me of the research available for years in the library sciences that library patrons will melt down if the PAC (public access catalog) took up to 10 seconds for a response on the CRT. That's old research; I wouldn't be surprised if it were even shorter now.

So, the bad meal during the first trip to the new restaurant may be rearing its ugly head again. A bad experience with a new media service may force providers to come back with an even better product with which new users might be perfectly happy to view. Oh, by the way, never underestimate the power of audio. Poor audio for whatever reason will certainly make a new media experience seriously compromised.

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


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