TV on the Phone

[ image via Texas Instruments ]

No, that isn’t some weapon from Star Trek pictured above. It is what a phone might look like when equipped with a new miniature projector. CNET News reports that the folks at Texas Instruments have come up with a miniaturized version of the same technology used in big-screen projection TVs. Your feature-laden mobile is about to feature-ladener.

On my commute this morning, I stopped in at the Verizon Wireless store I walk past each day. They have a banner in the window proclaiming the arrival of VCAST Mobile TV.

A bit of a history lesson with Verizon and VCAST: they rolled out this service just over a year ago featuring short clips from content sources like Comedy Central and Fox News. Clips were about 5 minutes in length, for the most part, and prone to endless buffering.

VCAST Mobile TV promises to end the annoying buffering problems and offer content longer than five minutes, text reminders of favorite shows, and the ability to accept calls without interrupting the programming. Content contributors inclued MTV, NBC, Nickelodeon, CBS, Comedy Central and others.

Both of these things call into question the notion of appropriate content length.

Rocketboom had a funny feature on this last week. [Link takes a minute to load.] They state that the length of programming is proportional to the size of the screen: short bits for mobiles, up to the 10 minutes YouTube allows for most videos on regular computers, 30 minutes for a television sitcom, and 2+ hours for sitting in front of the largest of large screens, the movie theater.

Others argue that it is not the screen size, but the setting that best dictates the length of the content. This has been an issue not only for video content, but for audio content as well. Parties on both sides have legitimate stances on whether content should be 5 or 55 minutes. Sooner or later, the users themselves will decide what they will bear, and the content of favorite length will win out.

Here is a demo of the new VCAST Mobile TV:

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