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Cell Phones Will Soon Offer TV

By Sam Bakken in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 7, 2005 7:35PM

1_2005_cellphone.jpgBecause we Americans don't spend enough time sealed-off from one another in our caves, a number of companies have developed technology that will allow you to watch TV on your cell phone. Apparently the technology has been available in South Korea for years and now Verizon is getting on board here in the States and will launch the cellular TV service VCAST on February 1st. A number of companies unveiled their plans for cellular TV programming at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Sprint has offered a video service since 2003. However, according to the AP, while the audio transmits clearly, the video plays more like a slide show.

Verizon claims their VCAST improves on their current EV-DO (a wireless broadband service) network technology and will clearly broadcast both audio and video and offer over 300 daily video clips. These clips will include, among other things, programming from VH1 and Comedy Central.

Cell phone company execs aren't getting too excited since the public's willingness to watch TV on a small screen is not yet known. So some companies are saying one minute TV episodes may be the answer. Fox has produced a number of these "mobisodes" based on "24" for European markets. A number of companies are also developing eyeglasses-like contraptions, not yet economically viable, that will display the video in front of the viewer's eyes.

We don't know how we feel. Advances in technology are always exciting, but the idea of some dude on the bus hootin' and hollerin' over prerecorded "Blue Collar TV" episodes or nodding along with O'Reilly makes us want to puke. We know people watch and enjoy those shows. We just don't want to actually SEE these vile creatures.