My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: LIME and 3G - The YouTube and Hulu Paradox

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

LIME and 3G - The YouTube and Hulu Paradox

Commuter – one who spends his life,
In riding to and from his wife;
A man who shaves and takes a train,
And then rides back to shave again.

E.B. White, The Commuter

Telecom Provider LIME is acting rather silly in it debut of this Service, a partnership with cable TV provider DC Digital which allow users to watch television on their mobile phone as stated in the article “LIME goes Mobile TV”, published Saturday August 28th by Christopher Serju, The Jamaica Gleaner.

LIME Chairman, Christopher Dehring thenproceeded to make some of the strangest utterances to leave his mouth that should have Telecom Providers scratching their heads: “We are the revolution. Some people say they have 4G, we say we have more G”.

Well folks, it is official. Telecom Provider LIME is now into gangsta rap.

I knew the rumors were true; Marijuana is making a comeback in the old C&W boardroom, just like back in the days when we (Union Representatives) used to negotiate with them for wage increases. The promise of the Service by Christmas 2010 as stated in the article “TV on your mobile phone this Christmas”, published Friday, August 27, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

This puts all Jamaicans in the same boat as the people of Mobay as stated in the article “LIME to build US$40m 3G Network for Montego Bay”, published Sunday June 27, 2010, by Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer, The Sunday Gleaner, and makes LIME Chairman, Christopher Dehring look like Kris Kringle, Santa Clause’s other nom de guerre.

But slapstick and humorous pokes aside, this is on the face of it, is on the same level as the fumble at the end zone, two (2) yards from the goal line, made by WiMax CEO, Alex Boothroyd of Telecom Provider Digicel fame.

Fumble!! Customers go wild!! Just goes to show you, I am not particularly fond of any of these Telecom Provider and they do seem to all think alike.

The Thursday soft launch was particularly interesting, as the usual atmosphere was on show and the rhetoric was ratcheted up a notch. The slow-out-of-the-blocks Telecom Provider LIME was looking fighting fit, trying to put on a brave face to show everyone that Telecom Provider Digicel and their new baby, Digicel Broadband 4G, powered by super fast WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.11n) as stated in the article “Digicel goes 4G”, published Saturday, August 21, 2010 By ROSS SHEIL, The Jamaica Observer. was not the only circus in town.

John Public can assure you that they certainly succeeded at that with that kind of statement, as John Public was looking around for a possible cameo appearance by Snoop Dogg. But putting the fluff, flashing lights and the skin tight women aside, is this really as good an offer as it sounds? John Public chews on his chocolate pipe and dissects the LIME to make some lemonade………..

Streaming TV on a Phone – Great idea if the Hardware is there for High Quality Viewing

Television on a mobile phone is nothing new. Most dual-SIM mobile phones from the People’s Republic of China, which stop working after a while and have no parts support in Jamaica, can pick up television. On the high end side of things, there are branded mobile phones from Samsung and Nokia, the most popular brands worldwide that can watch television without 3G Internet.

Then there are smart phones that use mainly streaming over 3G or 4G to enable TV watching, the Apple iPhone 4.0 on Telecom Provider AT&T’s Network coming to mind readily and its Google Android powered competitors, the HTC Droid Incredible on Telecom Provider Verizon’s Network, the HTC EVO 4G on Telecom Provider Sprint’s Network and the Motorola Droid and it next of kin on Telecom Provider Verizon’s Network rounding off the list.

All smart phones now feature Apps store and all have downloadable apps that support streaming video content from the cloud, which is obviously the technology featured behind LIME TV’s Service.

Thus all this ballyhoo is most likely about a mobile app that will allow streaming over the 3G cloud to your phone for a thirty (30) day subscription so that you can watch television – I love it when I break it down like that!

Thus Television streamed on your mobile phones is an excellent idea, albeit Telecom Provider Digicel had already made announcements in the same wind that portend to their  launching their own Wireless Subscriber Television Service as stated in the article “DigiTV launch for 2009 - Mobile provider branches into TV”, published Friday November 14th 2009 by Ross Sheil, Online Co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer via TechJamaica.

This is similar to the ones they currently have in the South Pacific Island and they had tried their hand at TV on mobile phones in the past with little success. Back then, mobile phone screens with less than VGA quality screens were very small and the content was streamed over EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) with buffering being a common problem.

But Telecom Provider Digicel tried, and albeit the experiment was a failure, it did whet the interest of those members of the Jamaican public who saw a future where Television would be on mobile phones. That future is now, intoning the title from the sleeper-awakes movie remake of The Time Machine (2005)

Streaming from Digicel and LIME – Hulu, YouTube Streaming Alternatives and good Hardware needed

With these rash announcements by both Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel, John Public wishes to interject a bit of the obvious, as I am now confused. Is it that the Telecom Provider’s really think that Jamaicans are not aware of the fact that YouTube and Hulu provide streaming Services, specifically Hulu, which are now viewable in Jamaica?

Hulu, in particular had announced plans to begin making subscribers pay for its streaming content as stated in the article “Hulu soon to charge for content”, published June 9, 2010 9:53 AM PDT, by Lance Whitney, CNET News.

Now it is official: Hulu is now a pay Service as stated in the article “Hulu launches US$10 video subscription Service”, published Tuesday June 29 2010 by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer, providing streamable advertisement laden content via the cloud for a measly US$10 on a thirty (30) day subscription.

They are now offering both a paid and a free streaming, the free streaming being at 480p resolution and being only recent episodes and the paid version being 720p. With access to back episodes inclusive of the current ones and both offerings being ad supported, the once free Hulu is now a revenue spinner in the new media and also a potential target for hackers.

Also, the mobile phones mentioned thus far by Telecom Provider LIME in the article “TV on your mobile phone this Christmas”, published Friday, August 27, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, have too small a screen.

Anything less than a 4” AMOLED (Amorphous Organic Light Emitting Diode) with at least 720p HD (High Definition) or Retina Display with support for either “tethering” via Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) or Wi-Fi Direct to allow for streaming to a HDTV television set, with optional HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) port or even fiber optic port will just not make it attractive enough for even the casual TV watcher wishing to catch news in the traffic.

Once these hardware issues are cleared up by Telecom Provider LIME offering HTC and Star Wars branded Motorola siblings of 4” mobile smart phones that fit this bill, the only issues will be is if the price is right.

The Rise of Tablets – Potential View Screens for the Streaming Generation to come

YouTube and Hulu are still free and far more interesting than streaming Cable TV on a free downloadable app from the Google Android MarketPlace or Blackberry Apps Store and is even available on the new Blackberry Torch 9800 as stated in the article “RIM looks to make a splash with US$199 touchscreen Blackberry Torch”, published Tuesday August 3 2010 by Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

There is also the hinted intentions of producing a Tablet PC to compete with the Apple iPad rumoured to be called the BlackPad as stated in the article “RIM BlackPad Expected to Compete with Apple's iPad”, published Friday July 30th 2010 by Mike Kent, Yahoo! News which  may mean their threadbare Blackberry apps store may need a few good Developers.

Did I really forget in all of this to mention the Apple iPad, which started all this craziness?

Still, John Public is not knocking this as yet launched product by Telecom Provider LIME, as the timing of the launch, which will be in Christmas 2010, is done so as to capture some of that feel-good vibe that usually results in people opening up their wallets a little more, festive season and whatnot.

Streaming benefits to Broadcasters - Behavioral Targeted Advertising to bring in the revenue

It is also in the nick of time too, as the RJR Communications Group was taking a beating in the form Second Quarter Losses in 2010 as stated in the article “RJR profits drop 53% in June Q”, published Friday, August 20, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

The news with regards to the fate of Cable TV, if the survey by ComCast is to believed, does not make going into that arena any more attractive. The potential advertising loss being visited upon broadcasters by the trend of time shifting using DVR (Digital Video Recorders), watching DVD’s and WebTV as stated in the article “Survey of viewers shows extent of TV time shifting”, published Tuesday August 17, 6:53 am ET By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer, Yahoo! News appears real enough.

RJR Communications Group diaper laden child, Multimedia Jamaica Limited, has hit up on using Bluetooth advertising, a type of Direct Targeted Marketing in a partnership with Blue Wave Caribbean, a UK based entrepreneur in this field as stated in the article “Bluetooth ads coming to cellphones soon”, published Wednesday, August 25, 2010 by Alicia Roache Business, The Jamaica Observer.

Direct Targeted Marketing is a very close cousin of Behavioral Targeted Advertising as stated in the article “Study: Like it or not, behavioral ad targeting works”, published March 24, 2010 9:01 AM PDT by Caroline McCarthy, CNET News.

Telecom Providers Streaming – Ultimate Savior of Broadcasting in Jamaica

Jamaica makes the perfect guinea pig, and is good that we get the chance to try this out first. This new advertising medium, at least new to Jamaica, may be like Obi Wan Kenobi, their only hope, as opined by the R2-D2 projected hologram of Princess Leia in the movie Star Wars – A New Hope.

And then came Telecom Provider LIME. But what I like best of all about either Telecom Provider LIME or Telecom Provider Digicel streaming Cable TV and Local Television stations over the cloud via their Wireless Broadband Services.

Telecom Providers are not the enemy of Television and the Big Three (3) Broadcasters, but may in fact be their ultimate saviour…………a happy ending that no one but John Public could have scripted in Jamaica, riding off into the sunset. The End.

Telecom Provider CLARO, any new announcements?

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