Tag Archives: Smartphones

Streaming TV, Get Your Game On

Don’t consider me a genius when I tell you that video is thriving today in our media saturated world.  Video is the next thing that everyone wants to get their hands on as often as they possibly can.  People are willing to watch nearly anything on their mobile devices: homemade videos on a smartphone, high quality documentaries on YouTube, fifteen second clips on Instagram, and even fragments of video on Vine, have all snuck in front of the eyes of millions of Americans.

Knowing that people are so willing to watch a 6 second video of a random individual “whaling” it also shouldn’t come as a surprise that mobile television already HAS and WILL become a MASSIVE contributor to the video people can watch “on the go.”

A company called Dyle is leading the way right now in true mobile TV, offering local channels in select cities throughout the United States.  With 36 markets providing coverage for Dyle services and counting, 55% of the population has access to live mobile television. All someone has to do is make a one time purchase of an Audiovox MobileTV receiver or something similar.  The Audiovox receiver is a wireless receiver that can be purchased for $100 on Amazon.com and many other electronic stores.  For iPhone 4 or iPad users, a 30 pin connector made by Elgato can also be purchased on Amazon.com or other similar electronic stores for around $80.

AudiovoxMobileTV_iPadBenefits of these devices are the one time purchase, saving you from the hassle of subscriptions services and nagging emails about “special offers.”  You just buy the connector one time and you have full access to live television if you are in one of the selected market areas.  Also, these devices use the legitimate TV airwave signals that your television at home would if you didn’t have a cable or satellite service. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WASTE YOUR DATA OR BATTERY BY STREAMING THE VIDEO. This is a definite feature that any level of techie can appreciate.

One negative to this service is the lack of channels that it can receive.  Since the live mobile TV industry is still developing, the only channels which an individual can have access to are the ones you would have minus a cable or satellite subscription.  Major networks such as NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and Qubo will be available for your watching enjoyment however.

Another company that has just recently made a massive splash in the mobile TV industry is Turner Sports with their newest edition of the NCAA March Madness app.  Although this app does still require you to use data on your phone for streaming, it is entirely free and gives the user an opportunity to watch all 67 games in the tournament. Although this app has been available for a few years now, it has gotten a complete makeover this year and the results have been exactly what the team at Turner was hoping for.  As of March 21st, before the round of 32 even happened, there had been 51 million live video streams through the app (2 million more than 2013).

ncaa_sports_appThe app also allows people to see what the buzz is on social media while the game is happening.  Don’t worry though, Turner Sports has hired more people to sift through the thousands of posts and only deliver you the most high quality ones presented so as to not overwhelm the viewer.  Also, this year, Turner Sports will broadcast each of the final four games on three different networks.  Allowing for a basic neutral broadcast on TBS, while TNT and TruTV will each broadcast a game with announcers who are “homers” or people in favor of one of the specific teams (Naturally this will be available on the March Madness app as well).

How does Turner provide all this quality coverage on their app you ask?  Well they are showing live television, so they can add value to those who chose to put commercials up knowing that they will not only appear on television, but on the mobile streaming as well.  Also, AT&T, Coca Cola, and Capital One have been presented as the co-releasers of the app and get extra coverage within the app and on air.

Although this app is still a data or wi-fi using feature which requires you to have some sort of cable connection providing you with the channels that are broadcasting the games, it is progressing and developing rapidly.  Don’t be surprised to see this app revolutionize the way people expect to watch television on the go, especially sports.

What does the future specifically hold for mobile TV? Will the sports industry fuel growth for more free mobile television?  When can we expect to see these changes in mobile television to come?  Will 100% of the nation eventually have access to mobile TV?  Hopefully a trip to the NAB Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada this week can answer these questions and more.

Keep an eye out for an update to this post to have your questions about mobile TV answered.

Matt Lange

Smartphones: How Do You Communicate?

Have you seen couples sitting at the restaurant waiting on their food, looking at their own smartphone, but still chatting? Or pedestrians walking across the street staring at their phone with only a glance at the traffic? Or maybe your friends are listening to you, while looking at their smartphone, when they suddenly interrupt you with: “Oh my gosh, this is hilarious!” Then they show you what they are looking at on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

These are all common behaviors of the current smartphone user. What is it about these little screens that make people look at them for so long?  The answer is connection with their mobile world through various Apps.

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According to Mobile Mindset Study, 58% of smartphone users cannot live without checking their phone for an hour, 73% of them feel panic, and even men get emotional. People check their phone everywhere: in bed, in the bathroom, during meals, while driving, and some even check their phone during church on Sunday. The percentages are especially high in the 18 to 34 age group.

Newsy recently posted Smartphones Could be History’s Fastest-Growing Technology showing how the increase of smartphone subscribers broke the trend of the relationship between technologies and GDP. The increase in subscribers in developing countries is more than 20% of the world total GDP. A Nielsen Company report shows the switch from voice calls to apps. On average in 2011, teens sent or received 3,339 text messages every month. They claim that texting is faster and easier than a voice call. However, the rapid growth of smartphone users shows that teens have become heavy data users, using popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pandora, pre-installed games, and instant messaging.

And this is not only happening in the United States. James Thickett, a research director at Ofcom (The Office of Communication) in the United Kingdom said: “New forms of communications are emerging which don’t require us to talk to each other.” Thickett says that, “Our research reveals that in just a few short years, new technology has fundamentally changed the way that we communicate.” In the United Kingdom, 40 percent of the people who own a smartphone mainly use it to communicate with others via the Internet.

The four major carriers in the United States (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) all used to have smartphone plans with unlimited data usage. But in July of 2011, Verizon confirmed that it would ditch unlimited smartphone data plans. According to Nicole Lee’s analysis in True cost of a smartphone: Price plan comparison, the way people communicate is changing. The best example would be Verizon and T-Mobile: they have plans that do not require making a voice plan.

People are changing the ways they communicate, focusing on social networking apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Vine, WeChat, Skype or others. The variety of ways to get in touch with friends has indeed increased dramatically. 49.6% of the people download apps for communication as their very first app and people tend to re-use the apps they own.

Smartphones have brought lots of conveniences into our life: they are fast, effective, and more fun. However, it will be a problem if people rely excessively on smartphones and have problems talking to each other in real life. They may lack patience, have trouble focusing on more than one thing at once, and lack person-to-person communication skills.

Yun-Sen Chan