When I first saw news this morning about the MobiTV service that SprintPCS is offering to its PCS Vision (CDMA2000 1x) customers, I immediately wanted to run into the next room, grab the Sprint phone I saw lying around and sign up for it to try. Since the service costs $9.99 a month I controlled myself and instead emailed a coworker that they should try it out. I'm dying to know what it looks like! Does it actually work? How cool is this? CableTV via J2ME on my phone!
Thankfully, Niel Eyde has already tried it and written a quick review to help stem my curiousity... This is truly cool stuff:
Watching TV on SprintPCS Phone With MobiTV
Today Sprint has launched MobiTV, the TV service for mobile phones (see Sprint Adding TV Service for Cell Phones). Initially I rolled my eyes, but I felt the urge to try the service out. This was my first attempt of procuring an application from Sprint. Previously I had uploaded all my purchased, downloaded or custom-developed applications (MIDlets) to my host provider, and I would install them on my phone via over-the-air (OTA) download using my mobile phone's web browser. Today I actually purchased and installed the application using Sprint's deployment service, and it worked very well.
It took a matter of minutes to find, purchase, install and run MobiTV. Currently there are 13 channels available, including MSNBC, CNBC, Discovery, CNET and College Sports TV. The audio quality is decent, but the picture is a bit choppy. However you definitely get the experience of watching TV. If you aren't in a decent Sprint service area, the results would probably make the experience frustrating and futile.
The potential for MobiTV is incredible. If you are an airport jockey, you will definitely enjoy the ability to catch up on the latest news (CNN, MSNBC), watching some cartoons (ToonWorld), or getting ideas for your next home improvement project (TLC). You will no longer need to strategically position yourself near the airport terminal tv monitors. Although there aren't many sports channels available yet, this service would be of great interest to sport fans. Imagine yourself attending an NFL game and at the same time keeping tabs on another game with mobile phone. Or better yet...what about being able to actually watch the half-time review of your game and highlights from the other games from mobile phone.
The best part about all this is that it's so easy to get this service running on your phone. Atleast that's the case with SprintPCS. I don't know about the other service providers. On a whim you can get MobiTV running on your phone.
Update: My coworker Joel signed up and it's *AWESOME!!!!!!!* I cannot believe 1) How easy it was to set up. 2) How great it looks 3) How good it sounds. It's an *unbelieveably* cool app. Jaw-droppingly good. Everyone here in the office - who all have seen some cool apps - were pretty floored. Live TV on your phone via J2ME?!? Incredible.
This is the first time I've ever seen anything on a CDMA phone that's made me want to run out and get one *right now*. When do we get that service on GPRS?!?!?
Update 2: Here's a 3GP video of MobiTV taken from my 3650. You'll need Quicktime 6.3 + Apple's 3GP support plug in to view it.