You must have heard of mobile hotspot devices like the Verizon MiFi that help you set up a WiFi network anywhere over the carrier’s 3G network. Now, Equinux, a Germany based company has launched a service called Tizi that will work like a mobile wireless hotspot, except that it is for television signals. That means, you can set up a TV signal receiver from anywhere just like you can for broadband hotspot.
Using Tizi, iPhone and iPad users can get access to digital TV while on the move. The product comes with an iOS app that is compatible with iOS 3.2 and iOS 4+. The application will run on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3G/4G and the iPad. Tizi will offer 3.5 hours of video playback and also comes with a Li-Ion battery replacement that is rechargeable.
Tizi is expected to initially launch in the European market at a price of €149.9 (£129). You can check out the product website at tizi.tv for more information.
The latest Mobile TV-enabled device from AT&T is here. The new LG Vu Plus comes integrated with the ability to watch full length broadcast shows from AT&T’s Mobile TV service. Besides, this the service also includes web browsing and GPS functionalities. Here is what is available
- 4-line QWERTY keyboard
- Large touchscreen display
- HSPA 7.2Mbps technology
- AT&T Mobile TV
- AT&T Mobile Browser
- AT&T Navigator
- AT&T Social Net
AT&T LG Vu Plus is available at a price of $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a 2 year contract. However, you may also need to pay an additional $9.99 per month for Mobile TV though there is a 7 day free access.
[via AT&T PR]
Those of you who have subscribed to AT&T Mobile TV or Verizon’s V Cast Mobile TV have a reason to rejoice. Qualcomm, the popular chip maker has revealed that the company shall be announcing major upgrades to their FLO TV service that will, among other things also let users record mobile TV shows off the air.
The Associated Press writes,
“The video-recording feature will let them watch shows when they like. The company will also let viewers buy service by the day, rather than committing to subscriptions that cost $10 to $15 per month for a package of a dozen channels”
Additionally, Qualcomm is also reported to be working on offering interactive services via the FLO TV service that will enable users to click and view information about the various TV shows apart from viewing ads and purchasing products from the FLO TV service. Existing users shall get access to the service through software upgrades.
The New York Times has an interesting article on how TV viewership has changed over the past few years and how broadcasters are adapting to the same. According to the article, TV broadcasters have lost over 25% of their audience in the past one year due to increased use of on-the-go devices such as cell phones or laptops.
Broadcasters are hence adapting themselves to the changine dynamics by investing heavily on mobile DTV that can bring uninterrupted programming even to viewers in a car traveling at high speeds. Thirty stations in the US have installed in equipments costing $75,000 to $150,000 for the purpose.
While the changing scenario means uninterrupted access to programming for the consumer, the cost of accessing content is also likely to go up. In a patent filed recently by Qualcomm, the company has elaborated on a technology that will change the price of access to content dynamically which would mean viewers on mobile TV may lose content access if they don’t agree to the price offered.
The inventors explain
“A server within a mobile TV broadcast network may negotiate the price for accessing a broadcast program with individual users via their mobile devices. The server may receive requests to access broadcast programs with price offers from mobile devices. The server may respond to price offers by accepting the price offer or by making a counter offer until a mutually agreeable price is identified. Alternatively, the server may implement any of a number of types of auctions for access rights to broadcast programs. Similar to negotiable dynamic pricing methods, once purchase requests for viewing access to broadcast content programs at current asking prices are accepted, the mobile TV broadcast service provider may transmit the appropriate decryption keys to the users who made accepted offers or bids.”
How could this be implemented? Let us take the example of broadcasting Super Bowl final over mobile TV. People traveling by cars outside the city accessing the live content from their mobile phones could be charged a premium considering that there is not much of an alternative viewing option. On the other hand, those watching the same content from inside a city could be charged less because there are always alternate viewing options.
Having said that, this is just a patent application and there is no guarantee for this to see the light of the day. Nevertheless, it gives interesting insights into how mobile TV pricing structures may change as we move forward.
The Nielsen ratings is one of the best known tools for tracking television viewership and audience composition. This is widely popular across the world and is taken as the benchmark when it comes to assessing the popularity of television programs.
However, with mobile TV getting prominence over the past few years, there does not exist a standard to track viewership from the mobile devices. Motorola seems to have taken the first step as a recent patent filed by the company shows.
In this filing, titled “Method for Collecting Usage Information on Wireless Devices for Ratings Purposes”, the inventors write about a technology that will enable them to assess viewership ratings from mobile devices. The inventors explain
“An illustrative system and method are described herein that enable the collection of information from mobile devices that are used to receive broadcasts of television or video programming over a wireless network. According to one illustrative embodiment, one or more ratings servers collect information associated with the use of one or more mobile devices to view broadcast video or programming. The collected information can then be used to calculate ratings.”
We are not sure if Nielsen already methods in place to track mobile TV viewership. A CNET article that dates back to 2005 talks about Nielsen working on something similar though it is not clear if Nielsen’s technology, if it exists, would be regarded prior art.
What do you think?