When you think of mobile TV streaming, you instantly imagine being sat in front of a computer or smartphone, watching the latest television programmes as they are broadcast. Whilst that is technically what happens nowadays, live mobile TV streaming has actually existed in many formats for decades. It’s hard to believe it, but the origins can be traced back to the 1970’s.
The advent of mobile television was actually spurred on by an unlikely influence – the British government – who pumped what would be equivalent to around £5m in today’s money into the development of the technology. The first signs of live mobile TV came on a device known as the MTV-1 which would set you back around £100 at the time of release. Although near enough everyone would turn their noses up at a four inch black and white screen in 2011, at the time it was seen as a genius invention. Although the MTV-1 (or Microvision, as it was also known) had a number of features that a regular television set lacked, the sketchy signal and general poor quality picture meant that it didn’t quite take off as much as anticipated.
By the time the 1980’s came around the development of mobile TV technology took a huge step forward. Portable television devices began to really pick up popularity in the United States, which coincided nicely with the spread of cable TV in the States too. However despite this, portable TV’s couldn’t actually pick up the modern satellite channels, although the signal they picked up on public access and network channels was massively improved. In addition to this, the controls were much more simplified than previous models, had a larger screen and also a colour display. This was the first step towards the live mobile TV streaming that we know today as developers realised their popularity.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and it’s hard to believe that the previously mentioned devices were ever seen as adequate. Today, there are so many devices on which TV can be streamed that it’s almost impossible to keep up. In the early 2000s a television wristwatch was even produced, although failed to sell well and production was cut short relatively quickly. This and many other portable TV devices from the time all still shared one fundamental flaw – they could only pick up terrestrial channels. It’s only over the last few years that portable devices, smartphones in particular, have enabled users to do this and allow them to watch a wide variety of subscription channels and video on demand as well as terrestrial channels.
The advent of smartphones has taken mobile TV streaming to a whole new level as users basically have a TV in their pockets, making them ideal for long journeys and many other occasions.
Author Bio:- Jack Oldham is a recent BA (Hons) Journalism graduate blogging on behalf of Gorillabox, who specialise in a wide range of mobile TV solutions, including mobile video on demand, mobile video advertising and many more.