TV Phones? Come on, really?

A story in my local paper announced the arrival of mobile phones that play video.
I know gadget freaks have been waiting for this for years. Portable video players are already available from a variety of iPod-like devices. Even the PSP has this functionality.
But I don’t get it. Portable MP3 players make sense, because they can produce, via headphones, a comparable experience to a huge immobile stereo system. My ears can’t tell the difference between my 50 lbs of stereo equipment and the 3 oz iPod shuffle. I can listen to a symphony or rock out to Tegan and Sara at home, in my office, in the car and in the park all with one little device and a set of headphones. (Yes, I know there are other people out there with magical ears that can tell the difference, and they prefer CDs over MP3s, vinyl records over CDs and vacuum tubes over transistors. But most people can’t, even if they say they can.)
But a 2 inch video screen playing small video clips? We want video to be bigger and clearer, not smaller and well-compressed. How do you explain the gadget-lovers want of a 60 inch HDTV as well as a 2 inch screen on their mobile phone that only shows movie trailers and music videos — both of which are forms of advertisements.
I think portable video has a very high amount of “gee whiz!” factor and a very low amount of “worth it in the long run” factor. But then I still think buying ring tones is a stupid idea, and apparently that this a billion dollar industry.

Posted on August 29, 2005 at 8:56 am by site admin · Permalink
In: General