15 giugno 2009

USA, le incerte prospettive della mobile TV

Il passaggio al digitale della tv apre (forse) nuovi spazi di opportunità per l'avventura televisiva mobile di Qualcomm, il servizio Flo TV. Qualcomm, costruttore di chipset per telefonini, si è assicurata la frequenza del canale UHF 55 per diffondere contenuti televisivi e audio con il sistema proprietario MediaFlo. Ma Flo TV non sarà la sola. MobiTV sfrutta direttamente l'infrastruttura cellulare per fare televisione mobile, mentre un provider come Transpera distribuisce contenuti video scaricabili in differita, finanziandosi con la pubblicità e quindi senza abbonamento.
Ci sono problemi di banda, scarsità di terminali compatibili e generale disinteresse da parte di un pubblico che forse trova il giochino della tv mobile divertente nei primi tempi e poi si disaffeziona. Ma gli operatori continuano a essere ottimisti e dicono che entro 3 anni la tv mobile sarà una realtà consolidata. Molto bello l'articolo dell'LA Times che fa il punto sulla situazione attuale.

Broadcasters compete to put TV on cellphones

The digital switch will let live video be sent to mobile devices -- phones, computers, car systems -- on the newly available analog spectrum. Contenders include MobiTV, Qualcomm's Flo TV and Transpera

By Alana Semuels
June 9, 2009

The digital switch is the end of one TV era, but broadcasters and device companies hope it's opening up another. Their vision for the future: a world in which we access live television not just on big screens in our living rooms, but also on cellphones and computers and in cars.
On Thursday, when stations will be required to broadcast through digital rather than analog signals, some companies will use the broadcast spectrum freed by the switch to transmit live television to cellphones and other portable devices. Shows and live video clips are already available on some phones, but this heats up competition as broadcasters and cellphone companies vie to turn the feature into a must-have. "This is one of about six or seven or eight things people are going to use their phone for," said Rob Hyatt, executive director of premium content at AT&T Inc.
About 13 million people watched video on their cellphones in the first three months of this year, which is about 6% of all mobile subscribers, according to Nielsen Co. That's a 50% increase over the same time last year. The feature might not take off -- Virgin Mobile yanked its cellphone TV offerings in Britain in 2007, saying not enough subscribers had expressed interest. But most carriers today are betting that it will. What's still to be determined is which service will prevail.
San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. hopes consumers will use Flo TV, which it's been building since 2003. On Friday, the availability of more bandwidth will enable Flo TV to double the number of mobile customers it can reach. Broadcasters will be pushing customers to use service provided by the Open Mobile Video Coalition, a group that represents more than 28 station groups in the U.S. and will broadcast local TV to mobile handsets, netbooks and MP3 players.
Some early adopters are already using MobiTV, a service from the eponymous Emeryville, Calif., company that provides on-demand video and live TV over a carrier's data network rather than over a television spectrum. For Qualcomm, the stakes are high. It invested at least $800 million in building the Flo TV network, hoping to drive demand for the chips it makes. Qualcomm began working on the network after paying $38 million in a federal auction in 2003 for Channel 55, a UHF frequency that becomes available for use Friday. "What we see is that people are on the go and have the need for immediate gratification," said Bill Stone, president of Flo TV Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm.

Nessun commento: