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Old 09-13-2005, 11:09 PM   #1
Brian
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Portable video isn't quite ready for prime time

According to a recent report by In-Stat titled Video Content Availability Will Be A Key Factor in Portable Media Player Growth, a number of key factors must be addressed before the Portable Media Player (PMP) market expands beyond early adopters. The report cites DRM, high price points, and the lack of legal video download services as barriers to mass market adoption.

Some other important points from the report:

- Portable Media Players are competing with other converged devices like PDAs, handheld gaming consoles like Sony's PSP, and portable DVD players.

- Early adopters will remain the primary market for Portable Media Players in 2005.

- The mass market is not willing to pay the $400-$500 for a dedicated Personal Media Player.

- By the end of the decade, worldwide Portable Media Player shipments are expected to reach 7.5 million units.

There is some encouraging news, however. According to Stephanie Guza, an In-Stat analyst, there has been a notable increase in activity by device manufacturers and content providers within the last six months to promote the availability of portable video content.

So far, Portable Media Player sales have been lackluster to say the least. The cumbersome and legally questionable process of transferring content like DVDs and TV shows onto these devices isn't helping mass market adoption, and BitTorrent downloads suffer the same issues. Is Steve Jobs right to hold off on the release of a video iPod and iTunes Movie Store until the market is ready, or should Apple, Microsoft, Creative and others work with content providers to build it, and they (the mass market) will come?
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Old 09-14-2005, 06:15 AM   #2
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If the price was right I am confident there could be a market for PVPs. Like you said $400-$500 sounds reasonable to me. Parks Associates published a study recently regarding mobile video according to which 12-13% of U.S. Internet users with some kind of mobile devices are interested in Video/TV on the go:

http://www.parksassociates.com/resea...ertainment.htm
http://www.clickpress.com/releases/D...051005cp.shtml

Of course even if prices would go down, the problem remains to find *legal* PVP content. PVPs usually don't carry DVD drives, so you need to transfer video material from your PC to the PVP. Most people are not willing to transcode DVDs to some other PVP-compatible format (XviD, ...) just for the sake of watching a movie on the go. Besides, the movie industry wants us to believe that transcoding (using tools like DVDDecrypter) is baaad thing to do.
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Old 09-14-2005, 07:16 AM   #3
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Personally, I think the PSP will do more for portable viewing than all the other current devices combined. The new version of divxencoder (Lathe) even has a specific PSP template in it.

Add in the expected dual release of DVD and the PSP disk format movies, and I can see it having a vast impact.

Craig.
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