donderdag 11 november 2004

Cell phone cinema

Lots of discussion these days on the future of video on the mobile platform. It's good to see that some are actually focusing on the content side of things. Something the company I work for, Media Republic, is also looking at in a partnership (2GOTV) with Vodafone, supporting the latter's consumer introduction of UMTS in The Netherlands. But mobile video can only be succesful if you really understand how to cope with infrastructural limits...

"They're as funny as anything streaming on cell phones today, but just as visually crude. The current technology limits creative options. Although Sprint claims that its flagship Samsung MM-A700 phone is capable of 15 frames per second, mFlix films are encoded at a bitrate of 8 fps to compensate for packet loss, signal drops and other network issues - which, combined with high compression rates (1000 to 1) and the phone's form factor, restricts the film maker's options for creative expression even more. Meanwhile, encoding removes every other frame, so editing must be kept simple, with no dissolves or quick edits. Composition is also limited, with close-ups working a whole lot better than panoramas on such tiny screens. Backgrounds must be kept simple, lest they look like a blur. And forget about camera movements altogether."

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