Orb's DVR Everywhere on Cingular 3G
I got a new Samsung ZX10 from Cingular the other day to try out the re-rollout of their American UMTS 3G services. Remember, I was one of the first people to use AT&T Wireless's 3G service a couple years ago before they got bought by Cingular. It's amusing to remember the boat-anchor I was using back then: the Motorola A845... the thing was the size of a shoe! The ZX10 is a much nicer phone, small and totally indistinguishable from other GPRS handsets. It's a real bummer my N70 doesn't work on the frequencies here in the U.S. actually, but until the government gets around to auctioning off the 2.1Ghz spectrum (if then), us GSM folk are stuck on an alternative system and have to have separate phones. The worst part is that even though AT&T was one of the first 3G networks, since then UMTS has actually been been surpassed by the CDMA carriers' EV-DO networks! Argh! But hopefully we'll see some HSDPA phones pretty soon as well (Cingular has already announced the ZX20 which uses HSDPA, for example) and finally after years of waiting, be living that true 3G dream. :-)
Anyways, I was reading my news just now and saw that Orb has re-launched their TiVo integration as a DVREverywhere.com. It used to be just a plug in, but now it seems more official. I haven't had much luck with TiVo Desktop or Orb Streaming on my new Media Center PC I bought in January, but I decided to re-download the services and see if there have been any improvements. The UIs are essentially the same, but someone fixed something somewhere, because now everything works like a charm in terms of being able to copy over TiVo videos to my PC, and then stream them over the internet.
Of course, the first thing I wanted to see was whether the vids would play on the Samsung phone. I really had my doubts - I'm not sure what type of encoding it supported, but I couldn't imagine that I'd be lucky enough for it to work "out of the box" so to speak, but guess what! It does! My personal video to my phone over 3G networks! W00t!!! It starts up immediately, looks great and even allows fast forwarding and reverse. That is out-of-control cool. Really, who needs Location Free TV or a Slingbox if you have a TiVo sitting there already? And all those $5 a month video plans? Forget it. This is awesome stuff.
All this talk of mobile video at 3GSM and CTIA started really making me wonder if it was just a bunch of marketing hoo-ha, but being able to watch my recorded programs like How Things Work streaming flawlessly to my handset? That beats 5-minute Sopranos snippets hands down, any day of the week.
Now if I could just get the frigin' address book on the handset to sync with something, I'd be psyched... ;-) My kingdom for a 3G phone in the U.S. that supports Yahoo! Go Mobile!