Motorola announced a slick new handset today at 3GSM called the MOTORIZR Z8. The phone is gorgeous, but not being much of a fashionista, I was a lot more interested in the news that the handset is being introduced along with a BSkyB partnership for mobile TV. Sure BSkyB doesn’t help us much here in the states, but it’s certainly a sign of things to come.
The interesting thing about mobile TV is that there are a lot of ways to make it possible. While networks like BSkyB will no doubt continue to jump into the game, there’s another model for video on your phone that seems likely to gain wider adoption in the near term – the cache-and-carry model.
Cache-and-carry is a practical alternative to OTA streaming video for several reasons. In 2007 I still do the bulk of my television watching on my home TV, which means that most of the shows I want to watch are already coming through the DVR set-top in my living room. Why not let my DVR continue to take care of the heavy lifting? In the first place, the home DVR has a lot more room for storing programs even when you consider the growing capacity of memory cards in mobile phones. As TV takes up more space (think high-def content), the advantage of being able to store shows somewhere other than my phone is not an insignificant one.
In the second place, a downloaded TV show is going to be a lot more reliable than trying to watch that same show over a wireless network. 3G or no 3G, there’s just no comparison to the experience of having an entire program at your fingertips without have to worry about signal loss.
I will be thrilled on the day that I can get network stations on a mobile device, but I’m betting that in the near future I’ll be more likely to transfer an episode of Battlestar Galactica from my DVR to my cell phone when I need a little mobile TV content. Cache and carry.