Vanishing video on 3G on smart phones – still slow after all these years

I keep hearing about how everyone is watching video on their smart phones. Then I try to do it and the experience is, well, awful most of the time. Particularly lately.

What’s your experience watching video on a smart phone? Comments welcome…

Here’s mine. The other morning I was trying to download a short Youtube video to my iPhone. I clicked on the Quicktime icon and it never played even though it appeared to download. Was it just slow or was my phone unable to play a .wmv video file? It was probably the latter (there’s an add-on for that), but I, like millions of others, could care less about the cause of the problem. All we know is that we did not get the video we wanted to see.

Forget that the display is too small and resolution often blurry.

Besides slow 3G, there are other causes for vanishing video such slow smart phone processors; incompatible video formats (HTML5 promises to fix this) ; microscopic displays and poor resolution. The experience simply is not good enough. Depending on the mood of my home Wifi, video latency is a problem more often than not on my iPad.

I know the world is going gaga over video. Youtube recently said 2,100 hours of video is uploaded every hour. But playing it on a 3G phone is far from satisfying. Perhaps, Gen Yers and Xers are downloading movies and watching them on smart phones. But that quick, hey, watch this Youtube video just isn’t worth the trouble.

Also, note I said a lot of video is being uploaded. I did not say it’s being watched. Maybe it is. I would love to see a breakdown on which platforms. My choice is a cabled desktop or notebook.

I have a Samsung Charge 4G phone from Verizon Wireless up for review and indeed faster connectivity will help – even e-mail has been slow lately on my 3G iPhone! But to get 4G, I still have to drive 15 miles closer to the greater Boston area to get it. Granted the 4G rollout isn’t trivial, but it  seems slow to me – like watching a video using 3G-:). Since 4G debuted almost a year ago, it can’t be said it’s sweeping the nation.

In the video below is former Ziff Davis colleague Greg Jarboe from Search Engine Watch, In it, he alludes to the volume of video being uploaded. And he describes it in a recent blog post. What’s your video experience on a smart phone.

Follow me on Twitter.

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Sliding Sidebar