The smartphone is as indispensable an instrument for people as the electric razor or the computer. You can’t live your life without it and we are becoming more dependent on them each day. Companies are working hard to develop new ways of turning their phones into a one-stop entertainment system for movies and television.
Internet television is becoming a major project for smartphone providers as people spend more and more time on the go away from home. DVRs are filled with unwatched episodes of everyone’s favorite shows because people are never home. They’re stuck on the train, sitting in the back seat of the carpool waiting for traffic to clear or 10,000 feet above the ground in an airplane.
Internet television for smartphones is definitely on the way, but there are some stumbling blocks.
Currently, smartphone users primarily get their television shows and movies from sources like hulu. Until recently, high speed internet providers in my area didn’t take cell phone usage into account and that meant a sudden drop in bandwidth for phones using Wi-Fi. Cell phone companies have attempted to keep up with the demand on their networks through increased speed like 3G and 4G, but as more people use their cell phones for watching videos these networks are
still under pressure.
A further hindrance to internet television for cell phones is data limit plans. In an effort to keep their broadband internet services running smoothly, cell phone companies have limited the amount of data cell phone users could use. Since watching programs on a standard satellite or cable service would require significant bandwidth, the limited plans would only allow for a small amount of television watching. If a person goes over their limit, they either have to pay more money, deal with decreased speeds or the data shuts off.
Smartphones are known for their ability to lose a charge fast and that goes double when it’s used for watching videos. Even a fully charged cell phone can only last a few hours watching videos. Even with some of the latest technology, that can only be extended to about four hours. Smartphone companies will need to either increase battery times or decrease the load videos have on a charge if internet television for smartphones is going to be a success.
The market is definitely out there, but people won’t be sitting at home with their cell phones plugged in watching their favorite shows. They will be out and about, waiting in line or stuck between meetings when they decide to check out internet television.
Internet television for smartphones faces some tough competition. High speed internet providers in my area know that smartphone companies will eventually make internet television happen, but this is down the road and they are dealing with the impact of other media providers.
Providers such as hulu and Netflix often provide television shows the day after they air and many provide movies as well. Netflix is even providing unique content that you won’t be able to find on television. If you want complete usage, most require a monthly fee and that’s a turn off for many people. Internet television providers probably won’t offer their services for free, but they’ll have to at least be comparable to the other services.
People never leave the home without their smartphone. They routinely use it to surf the web and even watch videos, but smartphone companies need to create significant changes in smartphone technology if internet televisionis going to be a reality for the small screen.