Forbes today gives an overview of the two technologies currently used in mobile television, and which TV networks and vendors are playing with each one.
We’re about to begin a transition here in the U.S., where “broadcast” video starts to take hold, and “streamed” video begins to recede into the background.
Despite all the terminology and acronyms, the difference is actually very simple. If 10,000 customers tune in to a streamed broadcast, the carrier has to deliver 10,000 separate Internet streams, one for each customer. This could easily overload the carriers’ networks. But if they employ true broadcast television, the channel is only beamed once. Then everyone uses handsets with built-in tuners to pick up the signal (similar to regular television).
Which one looks better? Broadcast, by a long shot. Unfortunately, we will all need new phones.
The article has a lot of good information, even as it acknowledges near the end that the market for mobile TV in the U.S. is still “mostly theoretical.”
Mobile TV’s Picture Improves [Forbes]