"Good things, when short, are twice as good," wrote 17th century Spanish philosopher Baltasar Gracian. But that might not be the case with mobile videos.In a Yankee Group survey of US teenagers, many (45%) said they would use their video-playing mobile phones to watch full-length movies. Just a handful of respondents (14%) said they would watch short, mobile-phone-specific video content, or "mobisodes."The finding bucks the conventional wisdom, which suggests that people wouldn't want to watch long programs on the tiny displays that mobile phones feature. "It isn't the kind of content you'd expect...on a postage-sized screen," said Linda Barrabee, a Yankee Group program manager, speaking at Playback magazine's Mobile Forum in Toronto on May 17. The result also flies in the face of the notion that today's teenagers' brains are wired for multi-tasking, and not for activities that require patience, such as watching a full-length film.Barrabee said the unusual finding might stem from the fact that many people don't know what a mobisode is, and perhaps the survey respondents were confused. But, she added, it might also be that the kids today have grown accustomed to small screens for text messaging, and so perhaps they're comfortable with small screens for movies, too.Some Mobile Forum participants were skeptical of the Yankee Group's findings, however. "I always have trouble with hypothetical answers to hypothetical questions," said Nick Patsiopoulos, a product manager at Yahoo Canada. He pointed out that people may say they'll use technology a certain way in surveys, but the proof is in the way they actually use it.Ken Truffen, VP, content at mobile virtual network operator Amp'd Mobile, agreed. He noted that a few years ago, survey results said mobile banking would be the next big thing for the wireless industry. But un-tethered financial services never became popular.But Gavin McGarry, VP of digital media at TV production and distribution firm Cineflix Productions Inc., said some of his acquaintances in Europe are fond of saving video content on their mobiles to watch on train trips. He figures it's only a matter of time before handsets become real contenders for users' entertainment attention. "Once the storage is there, it's going to be fantastic."According to Barrabee, just 2% of adult US respondents to another Yankee Group survey actively used the mobile TV features on their cellphones. Text messaging and other information-gathering applications were far more popular.Ditto for the Canucks. "The Canadian marketplace is a little bit behind, but not much," she said.As for the future, Barrabee said "things people are more familiar with will drive early adoption," pointing to established TV programming as one of the most powerful draws for mobile video adoption. This is consistent with Bernard Gershon's presentation earlier in the day. The senior VP of digital media at Disney/ABC Television Group argued that mobile video would boost the popularity of TV content. Mobile users rely on their handhelds to "catch up" on shows they missed on TV."Our TV ratings are up in the 18 to 49 demo," Gershon said.Barrabee said the "walled garden" that carriers have erected around mobile video content - the selected lists of shows that come with each service provider's video offering - will eventually crumble. Users will employ a third-party portal, perhaps something from Google Inc., to find content.The walled garden was a hot topic. Some forum participants said it stymies creativity. "It kills innovation," said Steven Comeau, president of Halifax-based TV and new media production house Collideascope Digital Productions Inc. In his estimation, the system keeps independent producers out of the loop, and it bolsters status quo content aggregators.He said the walled garden is part and parcel of the industry's belief that digital-rights management and heavy licensing rules keep users in check. But in truth, he argued, those security measures are so arduous that they drive users away from legitimate content channels and onto file-sharing programs, where they can pirate material.But Andrew Wright, director of content acquisition and distribution at Bell Mobility, said technical constraints keep the walled garden in place. Wireless networks lack the bandwidth to support any and all access to videos. As well, content-search functions are not sophisticated enough to dole up the right content when users ask for it."We're working out how to get there," Wright said. But in the meantime, the walled garden is the best way to provide mobile video, he added.