Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dating My TV #18 (Last Post)

See "Dating My TV #17".

This shall be the last post of this series. Two months of 'dating' is sufficient to get a good idea of where I am heading.

In "Dating My TV #1", I explained the weakened bond between the TV and I. As I was given the opportunity to try out Starhub's "TV on Mobile", I thought I would take the opportunity to see if I would begin to like watching TV again, now, from a new perspective.

I went on to try it out for two months.

Watching TV programs on mobile phones is not a new idea. It is obvious that mobility is the main attraction and it will remain so. Other than that, I have gathered some thoughts during the two months with "TV on Mobile".

1. Coverage of Reception

The whole idea about watching TV on the go is freedom. You would want to be able to do it anytime and anywhere. After all, Singapore is such a tiny island and that is not too much to ask for. However, I have experienced various 'blind spots' within which I could not receive any TV signals. This means that, there will be effectively no mobile TV while riding in a bus or train.

2. Smoothness of Data Streaming

Nothing can be more irritating than watching TV programs in a 'staccato' mode. However, that seemed to be the experience I had gone through in the last two months. There was hardly a program which was not disrupted by bad streaming in one way or another. The only difference was the degree of severity.

3. Variety of Programs

Like it or not, we are spoilt for choices today. We have long past the era when we only had MediaCorp's Channel 5 and Channel 8 to choose from.
On Starhub's "TV on Mobile", there are altogether 17 channels. Honestly, 17 is not an impressive number in this aspect. For 'TV on Mobile' to be attractive, the number of channels should not be compromised.

4. Size Does Matter

Most households have flat-screen TVs ranging from 30" to 45" and some have bigger ones. Home theaters are also not uncommon either and wall-size screens further enhance viewing experience. With this backdrop, it seems pathetic to have to watch TV programs on tiny mobile phone screens.
However, I have come to accept that the trade-off on screen size is a given as I cannot possibly lug a 100" device and move around.

5. Image Quality

There is a great difference between watching a movie on a 42" HD TV and on a 3.2" mobile phone. Inevitably, you lose a lot of details on the latter.

In "Dating My TV #1", I mentioned that 3D TV is tailing behind us and before I could wrap up this series, exciting talks are already taking place in the industry. If you have been following the talks at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, you would have noticed the number of players who came out to rave about their 3D TVs.

Perhaps the success of "Avatar" (3D version) might just accelerate the arrival of 3D TV in homes. When that happens, the disparity in viewing pleasure between 3D TV and mobile phone will be even greater.

6. Ease of Usage

You would need to select "GEE! 3G/GPRS" access point to use the StarHub TV on Mobile service and before that Gee! has to be activated. All these steps may not be difficult at all for someone who is tech-savvy. However, it can be a struggle if the mobile phone users are unable to go beyond taking calls and texting.

Setting it up can be an ordeal to some.

7. Ease of Surfing

At a click of button, your TV at home would come alive and you can start your channel surfing. However, TV surfing on mobile phones can bring excruciating pain. Getting it started requires some patience for the connection would not take place instantly. Switching from channel to channel means more waiting.

In an era when speed is everything, too much of 'hourglass' watching is not acceptable.

8. Parting Words

It was not all bad. "TV on Mobile" had kept me company in some otherwise very bored moments. However, the possibility of me growing very fond of it is quite slim. Perhaps, I expect too much. Perhaps, it ought to be better. Perhaps, we are just not meant for each other.

Whatever... "Dating My TV" ends here and we remain platonic. Thanks for tuning in.

See the entire "Dating My TV" series.

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1 comment:

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