MEETING DATE(S): Monday, January 29, 2007
LOCATION: Fine Arts Theatre, Beverly Hills, CA

Rahul Sonnad, Vice President, Business Development for The Platform
Kevin Grant, Vice President Worldwide Sales for MobiTV
Roy Stewart, Vice President Digital Services Group, Ascent Media

TOPICS:  Mobile Media

Thumbs were held high at the January SMPTE Hollywood Section meeting, which took place at the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills, as we explored emerging markets and technology with “Portable Media, Part 2: The Thumb Generation”.  

Roy Stewart of Ascent Media moderated the evening as SMPTE Hollywood welcomed representatives from two companies leading efforts in this important emerging market space.  Actual live cel phone samples of mobile content helped to illustrate the presentations.  The cel phone itself was a character at the event, and appeared on-screen through the use of a video camera tied directly into the theater’s digital cinema projection system.  The mobile systems illustrated are only now coming to market.

Rahul Sonnad, Vice President, Business Development and co-founder of The Platform, a Comcast company, presented his view of trends in the mobile and broadband arenas.  Rahul demonstrated the AMPD mobile phone service and showed screen shots of media web sites his firm developed.  These include Comcast’s The Fan and the Scripps Network sites such as

Rahul cited some key market trends, including:

  • Critical mass of users coalescing in the video for desktop space
  • Technology sets are getting bundled into content networks available for “free” use, as…
  • Technology solutions are get cheaper and more powerful
  • Technology fragmentation remains a key impediment for going beyond streaming (digital rights management, format, portability)

Device proliferation is also at issue, as the relative explosion of available viewing devices creates issues of linkage between these devices.  Critical areas of development include concepts of search, browse and discovery of content; video specific content discovery experiences; content ratings and recommendations; and social filtering and sharing.

To meet demand, the market is witnessing content source proliferation as old constraints of technology & cost disappear.  Still at issue are editorial, filtering and business terms for content licensing, tied of course to digital rights management needs and concerns.

Kevin Grant, Vice President of Worldwide Sales for MobiTV, presented a landscape overview of the market for mobile and broadband content and discussed how that market is integrating to the traditional broadcast and television worlds.

Kevin focused on the “three screen” experience highlighting how content becomes complimentary across all delivery platforms.  Where currently a customer pays for content services separately, with new adopters paying a premium, future services will be tied together as video is delivered to all platforms as part of a top tier service.  All services will be fully integrated in the future.

He identified the current mobile market as younger adult males, ones who also typically make up the early adopter market segment for technology.  The emerging market space also includes the “soccer mom”, someone who shuttles the kids to practice and wants video content to watch as they sit on the sideline taking in the game.

Kevin offered some great demos of Cingular and Sprint services.  He illustrated, through the live cel phone presentation, how newer mobile 3G technology enables delivery of content via the phone service, and discussed how handsets will evolve for the U.S. market to “video enable” from the initial design.

Assisting in the evening’s event from the local Hollywood chapter were Robert Dennis of Ascent Media, and Beverly Pasterczyk of Eastman Kodak.


Name:   Robert Dennis
Company Affiliation & Contact Tel. No.: Ascent Media (818) 840-7311