Daily Blog – Ross Jones – May 15, 2008: WHY WATCH TV ON A 2.5 INCH SCREEN?

Am I the only one who thinks that downloading video for viewing on a PDA-sized screen is an utter waste of storage and eyesight? The amount of content available for download to iPod or other PDA (films, TV shows, etc.) has increased dramatically, with more on the way every day. So presumably smart companies think there is a big market for content delivered onto a 2.5 inch low-rez screen (3.5 inches wide on an iPod touch).

Sorry, I just don’t get it. I understand why road warriors like business travelers might want portable video to while away the hours in the airport, but most of those folks are traveling with laptops anyways. I pack a portable DVD player (with an 8.5 inch screen) when I fly and bring along a new Netflix rental or two, just to pass the time. But that’s different than paying money for a movie or TV show, with the specific intention of watching it on a tiny screen.

I suppose that I’m several decades beyond the prime demographic target, which might explain my lack of enthusiasm. Maybe for the generations used to watching video on YouTube and other websites in a three-inch window, portability is a big selling point. I have no problem with music-on-the-go, especially when encoded with a lossless codec. But I could not watch an entire feature film on a PDA sized screen. I guess size does matter, after all.