Mobile TV and Distributed Mobile Video

There's quite a bit of hype and anticipation around mobile video and TV. There were tons of mobile video-related announcements at CES and CTIA last year, etc. But because of cost, complexity and a sub-par user experience generally, I'm skeptical that users will want to pay to watch it at this point.

There are some interesting scenarios where mobile offers an extension of my video entertainment experience (i.e., on SlingMedia, AOL Winamp or iTunes) and I access it remotely or transfer it to my mobile device for travel, etc. But other than iTunes and the iPod, that's a minority use case for some time to come.

However, I stumbled across an enterprise company called Reality Mobile (via an email from one of the Where 2.0 advisors). The company has an interesting technology that basically allows real-time video streaming from ordinary cellphones to other cellphones. While the company isn't positioned for the consumer market the technology might be used in very interesting ways by, for example, a social network of distributed mobile users.

One version of this plays out in the context of the equally abhorrent and banal "life casting." But there are also interesting video extensions of today's local social directories (e.g., Yelp) that might utilize this. Also one could imagine Facebook using a technology like this in mobile.

I could go on with several hypothetical scenarios that involve archived and real-time video streaming on mobile. My point is only that the form of "mobile video" that might gain adoption and take off could be quite different than the more conventional "mobile TV" models that are being developed today.