Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Indian movie to debut on cell phones

An Indian cellular phone company (AirTel) plans to air a new Bollywood movie on mobile handsets for free and in full Thursday in a bid to promote its video-streaming service.

"Rok Sako To Rok Lo," will be available to Bharti Tele-Ventures customers in 11 Indian cities, provided their phones have the supporting technology. To be among the first to see the movie, Bharti customers' phones must have EDGE, or Enhanced Data Rates for Global System for Mobile Communications Evolution. EDGE enables mobile phones to connect to the Internet and transfer data at high speeds. A maximum of 200 people will be able to connect and watch the movie simultaneously, and the movie cannot be copied or replayed.

The company hopes to air more movies, and may charge a fee depending on customer reactions to Thursday's preview, another Bharti official said.

Bharti Tele-Ventures: http://www.airtelworld.com
Movie Web site: http://www.roksakotoroklo.com

5 comments:

Lucifer's Angel said...

Sounds cool!

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Teeth Maestro said...

Watch a three hour Indian movie on 3 inch screen - come on - market all you want but movies deserve a bigger screen with better sound not a crappy 3 inch display with mono sound.

Indian and Pakistani society are not the big time commmuters (unlike the west where the underground subway system is an integral part of life) the people who can afford EDGE mobiles travel in cars and not via the Bus. I honestly dont see this technology making leaps into our life - some might embrace it for the "show-off" look, that aint worth the investment for the cell phone companies.

On the other hand I appreicate the marketing concept - Unique

G3nu1n3 said...

Its quite obvious that’s it’s a marketing ploy. Seriously who would like to watch a movie of a small screen? The company only wants to demonstrative that they can provide high speed traffic through their communication network. What better way to do so than this, when it attracts so much attention.

Merlinx said...

Weeelll, that's not entirely true gentlemen. I agree that watching a movie on the 1.5" x 1.5" LCD screen of a cell phone isn't the best way to experience a broadcast but it does have certain real-world applications. E.g. while you're traveling or want to catch up with the news or something important on the airwaves but can't because you're mobile or at work, etc.

Also bear in mind that while we in South Asia spend little time in traveling on very clogged, packed roads and have to focus all our attention to the task of driving in a place like Karachi or Lahore, in the West, taking a weekend 2-3-4-5 hour road trip is nothing. In such cases, one could see the utility of having broadcasts being beamed for mobile phones. FYI most mini-vans in USA are now equipped with complete home entertainment systems including 5.1 sound systems, DVD players, the works...for families on road trips.

Similarly there are times when I have wanted to catch an important piece of news while I was on the move, such as riots in the city or road closures, or an important event or even TV show (crazy as it sounds!), etc. but couldn't because I didn't have access to a TV just then. Just imagine you're going somewhere in your car and you hear that some incident has happened in so-and-so locality and it is closed down or traffic routes are changed, don't you think there might be a utility of having a broadcast-capable cell phone maybe catching a news channel like ARYONE or Geo to get the news?

I agree that it doesn't make for the best medium for broadcast transmissions and it'll be "movie-cide" to watch Jurassic Park on it :-), especially since we are becoming more and more accustomed to surround audio and 60" projection TVs and all. But all things being equal, accepted that you won't be pivoting your life around your cell phone's 1"x1", it does have certain realistic uses besides marketing.

Zunaira said...

I second Merlinx's opinion on this. The amount of time we spend on the roads--specially in major cities--begs for high speed data transfer to our phones [everyone has one!]. I would watch some music videos or news to kill time on Shara-e-Faisal instead of looking at people with DVD systems installed at the back of their front seats.

Bollywood or Hollywood, the idea would take off here since interactive gaming on a phone wouldn't mesmerize the more passive users amongst us ;~)