It was only a matter of time before we were able to see full-length live TV shows on our hand-held devices.

After all, they could do everything else: play music, download games and applications, keep track of our calendar events and answer our calls. They could also play brief snippets of TV shows or commercials. How long did anyone really think it would take before full-length video arrived?

It’s here. The new smart phones, including the iPhone, Palm Inc.’s Pre and Nokia Corp.’s N-series, have larger screens that make video-watching a more enjoyable experience. In an ironic twist they’re now about as large as the miniscule screens enjoyed by Americans in the first days of television.

We’ve come full circle, but we’re much more mobile.

Consumers can also download their own TV shows, DVR recordings, and other media to their phones using a variety of services provided by companies including Sling Media, CBS, and Nero Inc. It’s even possible to watch live TV in some instances.

The new technology hasn’t boosted the number of mobile users or even video viewers. The numbers from when phone video was only a brief snippet to the present moment, when it can be a full-length episode of Project Runway, haven’t moved substantially.

The ability to watch TV on a smart phone isn’t necessarily enough of a draw to convince an old-time cell user to switch to a smart phone, with higher costs. However, the evidence suggests that longer-form television is worth watching on phones – which means there’s another place for networks to make up their lost ad revenue.