Russell Beattie posted a bit of a rant about mobile video, which contrasts somewhat with what I said in a previous blogging life. Or at least it seems to disagree at first, but I think we actually said the same things for the most part. I agree with his points about video clips being a dead end, except in the case of someone like MyCasa Network which delivers a 30 second clip of someone entering the front door of your house. That 30 seconds of video is pretty interesting. And I’m sure just about all of Italy would like to get messaged the video of the last goal scored by their favorite soccer team if they aren’t able to make the game. But in general, I think the 30 second clips of news and other programming are pretty lame. However, Russell also says that streaming TV is cool. I disagree. I don’t think services like MobiTV really have a strong appeal. I think his other applications are perfect, and quite insightful. True video streaming capability on handsets will change the ways that people interact, and will push the traditional boundaries of the services and networks. Many of these video applications will be cool. But streaming TV to a handset just sounds like shoehorning old media into a new format, and without a very good reason.
I think it’s important at this point to stress that there will be use of and demand for video over cellular, but that the infrastructure as a whole must be robust and flexable. An infrastructure that supports mostly just broadcasting from the provider for viewing on the handset WILL NOT be enough. And that’s what really bothers me about the TV over cellular example, I don’t think it will be representitive of the real solutions that are needed. A system that supports the handset as both producer and consumer of video, and which supports both live streaming and asyncronous messaging, and runs using well standardized and restriction free formats; that’s starting to get more towards the system I think we need.