TV on Cell phones

Over at John Cook’s Venture blog there is a post about technology in 2007. When asked about technologies that will “hit the wall” in 2007, Robin Murdoch of Accenture said:

…streaming TV to cell phones is “overhyped completely,” adding that most people would choose to watch a live sporting event on a large Plasma TV screen rather than their handheld device.

I agree with Robin’s conclusion, but not his/her justification. The fact of the matter is, with the exception of sporting events and breaking news, streaming live TV to anything, including TVs themselves is on the decline. The vast majority of content is not terribly time-critical. Even the NBC Nightly News is available as a podcast download now. The acceptance of TiVos and DVRs has demonstrated that people don’t mind watching things later, and in fact they prefer to watch things on their own time. When you’re out and about, that’s even more true.

The statement that people would choose a large screen over a small one isn’t even interesting. The reason someone would choose a small screen is because they can take it everywhere – that’s the tradeoff they’re making. The question is how many people want to take their video with them, and I’d imagine people in the cell phone industry are keeping an eye on sales in the iPod video store to answer that.