Local News on the Smallest Screen
January 12, 2007 12:55 PM
At the Consumer Electronics Show this past week, cell phone video was one of the hot topics, with competitors at MediaFlo and Modeo demonstrating their broadcast TV quality services.
Before I left for the show though, I actually checked out cellular TV from a different source—the local CBS affiliate here in San Francisco. The station’s spokesperson visited me, wanting to show me the stations’ news, weather, sports and traffic clips on her Verizon phone. KPIX launched its mobile TV service in April 2006 with 68 subscribers from Sprint and Verizon combined. In October, the station had grown that to 552.
Small potatoes, for now, to be sure. But, the station is getting money from this venture since it’s a monthly subscription service at $2.99-$4.99.
The cell phone actually pulls videos from the station’s Web site, which is a pretty cool notion in and of itself. Think about it—that little phone is somehow communicating with a Web site to grab its videos and display them on a little screen. It almost reminds me of that neat thing called TV. How does that work after all? Transmitting video through the sky?
The quality was good, without the herki-jerkiness cell phone video can have. Navigating around the videos can be a bit clunky and one or two didn’t load, but by and large if I were a local news junkie, I’d pay the few bucks a month.