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Mobile TV

August 26, 2010

Netflix streaming comes to iPhone, iPod Touch

netflix-iphone.jpgA Netflix app has been available for the iPad for some time now. Nada for other iOS devices such as the iPhone and the iPod Touch. But today Netflix announced that the latter two devices are supported and an updated app is available from the iTunes store:

Get Netflix on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Just download this free app and you can instantly watch TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix.
- It's part of your Netflix unlimited membership. Not a Netflix member? Start your FREE trial today.
- Watch as often as you want
- Resume watching where you left off on your TV or computer
- Browse movies and manage your instant Queue right from your device

The use of the app does require a Netflix subscription which starts at $8.99/month, but judging from the text above you can start off with a free month or two.

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August 4, 2010

Motorola, Verizon, Google in cahoots to develop TV tablet

tv-tablet.jpgTV tablets are on the way, if a report by the Financial Times rings true. Motorola is reportedly developing a 10-inch touchscreen tablet that will run on Google's Android operating system and tie in closely with Verizon FiOS paid digital TV service. The Apple iPad rival, which is rumoured to launch as early as fall 2010, is said to also support Adobe Flash (unlike anything Apple), have 2 cameras and be able to share a wireless connection with nearby devices.

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July 22, 2010

Qualcomm looking to sell Flo TV, no money in mobile video

flo-tv-logo.jpgA couple of years ago, many companies thought mobile TV was about to take off. Qualcomm was one of them and it heavily pushed its Flo TV service, buying up spectrum, building out infrastructure and pushing to get its own TV-compatible chipsets into mobile phones. Fast forward a couple of years, and Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs is now saying the company is looking to sell its expensive, unprofitable Flo TV service. While a wide variety of suitors could be interested, look for Flo TV to be picked up by another mobile entertainment provider or a company looking to shut down the service and take advantage of the valuable spectrum for another service.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 7, 2010

Bang & Olufsen outs new iPhone app

beolink.jpgYou're nothing if you don't have a branded iPhone app these days and as such, Bang & Olufsen has joined the party with BeoLink (iTunes link). The application, compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, enables users to communicate with the company's Master Link Gateway over a Wi-Fi connection and control home theater gear. As a value add, BeoLink can also be used to control home automation features such as door locks and outdoor lights. And, unlike the the company's Beo5 remote control, the BeoLink works both indoors AND outdoors.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 16, 2010

SlingPlayer iPhone app streams over AT&T's 3G network

slingplayer-mobile.jpgSling Media has announced today that Apple has approved an updated version of its SlingPlayer Mobile app (iTunes link) for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The update is notable because the app, which streams video from your home theater to virtually any mobile device (and in this case the iPhone), now works over AT&T's 3G network while previously it was limited to Wi-Fi connections. Unfortunately you'll have to fork out $29.99 for the application plus more money for the actual SlingPlayer purchase so the app can communicate with your home theater, but if you have alot of time on your hands when you're out and about in the real world, it just might be worth it for you.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 16, 2009

US finally gets a mobile digital TV standard

atsc-logo.jpgThe United States finally took a leap forward today in the world of mobile TV as the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) finally announced a new mobile DTV standard. The new standard, comparable in some ways to DVB in Europe et al. enables typical TV like that you usually watch in the living room, to find a new home on mobile devices. Good for live television, video-on-demand, targeted advertising and all the other fun stuff that comes with typical cable, the ATSC standard is already supported on select Samsung and LG devices, and will hopefully roll out sometime in the near future. Over 800 American stations are already signed up to broadcast the new signal over existing 6 MHz airwaves. You can read more about the new standard here.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 7, 2009

Qualcomm gets personal with FLO TV Personal Television

flo-tv-personal-television.jpgQualcomm's FLO TV service has always been about bringing television to the mobile masses, but thus far the master plan has been to bring the service to cellphones and other mobile devices. This morning FLO TV entered a new market, leveraging Qualcomm's hardware know-how to bring a dedicated FLO TV mobile device to consumers.

The FLO TV Personal Television is roughly the size of a typical GPS navigator, with a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display, a 4.4 x 3 x 0.5 inch dimensional form factor, and a battery life providing 5 hours of continuous playback or 300 hours standby. It also sits on a built-in swivel stand so it can be place on any flat service. Owners will receive live or time-shifted TV over the FLO TV network and once swipe of the touchscreen will enable channels to be changed.

Will this catch on? Who knows. FLO TV is offered via mobile phones, in-car entertainment systems, and other mobile devices already. In an era of extensive multitasking, dedicated devices like this are in tough. Just looks at Verizon's Hub--it's already been canceled.

The FLO TV Personal Television is priced at $249.99 (MSRP) while the FLO TV service starts at the $8.99 per month when prepaid on 1 or 3 year subscription plans.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 26, 2009

Rumor: Qualcomm working on a FLO TV Personal Television

qualcomm-ptv-sketch.jpegThe gdgt blog is reporting that Qualcomm has a portable TV in the works that it hopes will push its FLO TV mobile TV service. According to the website, the Qualcomm device will be called the FLO TV Personal Television, or PTV for short, and roughly the size of an iPhone.

The rendering above was apparently created by Frog Design for Qualcomm, and should it be real, gives us an idea of what the device will look like if ever released. Other rumored features include a capacitative touchscreen with a swipe and gesture-recognizing user interface, 4 GB of memory for music storage, built-in stereo speakers, 300 hours of standby battery life, 5 hours of TV playback, and 15 hours of music playback.

I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for this.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 18, 2009

Blockbuster OnDemand coming to Motorola cellphones

block.jpegHere's an interesting partnership between two companies, both struggling in their respective industries: Blockbuster and Motorola have teamed up to bring OnDemand video content to future Motorola mobile phones. This is the first time Blockbuster have streamed its content to mobile phones, somewhat of a last ditch effort to save its flailing business. The company has been pushing hard this year to establish relationships with hardware manufacturers in order to broaden the reach of its digital content. Recently, Blockbuster has signed deals with Samsung to stream OnDemand to its home theater products and Archos, a netbook maker. Blockbuster hasn't released a timeline for availability or movie prices, but claims thousands of titles will be available.

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July 20, 2009

Universal brings Blu-ray to the iPhone with Fast & Furious Special Edition

bluray-iphone.jpgIt had to happen sooner or later--Universal Studios is bringing iPhone and iPod Touch controls to its two-disc Special Edition of the Fast & Furious July 28. According to Crunchgear, iPhone and iPod Touch owners will be able to control and navigate the Virtual Car Garage embedded on the Blu-ray set over a Wi-Fi connection. Users will be able to view each car in full 360-degree exposure and find technical specs for each car with a single click. Whether or not there will be additional features, Universal Studios hasn't said. But upcoming Universal Blu-ray releases will enable iPhone/iPod Touch owners to download bonus content to the portable devices, include access to other film info, and even feature Facebook Connect and Twitter integration so you can share your Blu-ray viewing with friends.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 24, 2009

How much would you pay for Qualcomm's Flo TV?

flotv.gifThere's an interesting article in The New York Times this morning discussing the past, present and future of Qualcomm's Flo TV, the company's cellphone television service. Currently run by Bill Stone, who admits Flo has been a bit too expensive thus far, Flo TV currently offers about 20 stations for $15 per month. But because Qualcomm doesn't control the pricing--AT&T and Verizon do that as it's only offered through their networks--Flo is often offered as part of a more comprehensive wireless video package running up to $30. Way, way too much if you ask me. Especially given the amount of free video out there.

But Stone told the Times that Flo will soon be offered straight to consumers on an annual or monthly plan that wouldn't run more than $10 per month. That sounds a little better. Qualcomm is working on enabling other gadgets to broadcast Flo as well--think GPS navigators, netbooks, portable gaming systems and in-car entertainment systems. In my opinion, that would be a big step in adding more value to the service.

The big question remains though: would you pay for Flo TV? Or any mobile TV service for that matter? If so, how much would you be willing to pay per month? If not, why?

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 20, 2009

Washington, DC first US market to get free mobile DTV this summer

logo_omvc.jpgWashington, DC will be the first American city to get free mobile TV from local broadcasters, according to the Associated Press. The city has been chosen as a test market by the Open Mobile Video Coalition mainly due to its tech-savvy population, not to mention the local political support. The affiliates involved are expected to begin broadcasting in late summer and include PBS, CBS, NBC, Ion and Fox. While it's not entirely clear which devices will support the initiative--devices will need a mobile DTV receiver--LG, Samsung, Kenwood, and Dell are all supporters of the initiative and will create mobile phones, laptops, and in-car technologies with the needed receivers. Broadcasters hope to launch in more than two dozen other US markets this year, ultimately covering 39% of the American population.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 3, 2009

Panasonic Viera SV-ME850V: A Viera on the smaller side

panasonic-viera-sv-me850v-waterproof-portable-1seg-tv.jpgPanasonic has announced the Viera SV-ME850V, a 1-seg portable model that's completely waterproof. Features include a 5-inch display, a pair of built-in 280 mW speakers, an SD/SDHC card slot with support for AAC, MP3 and WMA file playback and JPEG image viewing, 1-seg digital TV and recording, an AM/FM radio tuner, 3.5 mm audio jack, and a USB 2.0 port. Panasonic will also offer the SV-ME750V and SV-ME700. The former will lack the radio tuner while the latter will scrap the 1-seg TV recording. I wouldn't mind having one of these, but of course, they won't be available in North America.

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Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

March 25, 2009

Carl Zeiss Cinemizer Plus video glasses gain "Works with iPhone" approval

carl_zeiss_cinemizer_plus_2.jpgCarl Zeiss, best known as being the brand behind all kinds of camera lenses, is set to launch the Cinemizer Plus video glasses, the first to bear the "Works with iPhone" insignia. The glasses, which will also work with video-capable iPods simply hook up to your iDevice, and playback video equivalent to watching a 45-inch display from 6 feet away.

The Cinemizer Plus uses a pair of LCD displays with individual diopter focus adjustment so they can be adapted for your eyesight. The video glasses also have a built-in battery that lasts for four hours so you don't have to worry about draining your iPhone's battery.

Set to ship in May, the Cinemizer Plus will cost the equivalent of US$449 and will be available in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.

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