Yes, That’s LIVE Streaming TV & Video On My Cell Phone
I’ve been playing with my HandiTV application that I recently purchased and downloaded onto my Samsung Blackjack. It set me back $20, and I’m still questioning if it was worth it. But video-casting or clip-casting is about to break free of technical burdens and is here and now it seems from all the major carriers.
Everyone has their own flavor of video streaming to the cell phone, some are video-clips updated throughout the day, and other services provide live or delayed broadcast TV (NICE!). But of course, all this eye-candy isn’t cheap, costing you at least $120/year for the convenience of watching tv on that tiny screen of yours.
Cingular actually has a service through the same software maker as the application I purchased, offering several more channels. But I opted for the one-time purchase of $20 vs. $10/month every month after month.
Both of them really does require you to have a nice clean 3G signal at the very least unless you want to watch really jerky video and/or hear broken up audio/video signals throughout a segment.
For Verizon Wireless, the 8 packaged channels are Fox Mobile, CBS Mobile, Comedy Central, MTV, NBC, NBC News, Nickelodeon, & ESPN. There’s an option for “V Cast Mobile TV LIMITED PACKAGE” which is $13/month (only $2 cheaper!) and has only NBC, NBC News, CBS Mobile & Fox Mobile. On the other end, for $25/month, you can get all that plus unlimited video clips, “Mobile Web 2.0” airtime & email.
Verizon’s Vcast Mobile TV has a very limited number of channels, but they claim it’s “REAL TV”. And by the looks of the programming guide, it looks like you can find stuff that you’ll actually watch.
The other carriers offer similar services. Here’s a summary of what the major carriers like Verizon Wireless, Sprint/Nextel & Cingular are offering their customers for video over the cell towers:
There’s actually other avenues to access free streaming content on the Samsung Blackjack and other Windows Mobile cell phones (that’s another story for another day…soon). However, they don’t package it all up as nicely as any of these carrier’s own services, which shouldn’t be underestimated. When you’re on the go, sometimes it’s worth it to be able to quickly drill down menu options and get to what you want quickly.
2007 is the Year of Video and cell phone are definitely invited to that party.