I’ve had my Sprint phone for nearly three weeks now, and I’ve had a chance to sample quite a few of the features that are accessible via the Sprint Power Vision Network. Basically, this means that in the past three weeks, I’ve found myself in a few situations where I was bored to tears, and I remembered that I could use my phone to browse the web, watch TV, or get any kind of info update you can think of.
First of all, I want to comment on the “wireless broadband.” Compared to every other mobile device I’ve used, this puppy is pretty speedy, and I’ve been impressed with the way it’s able to load graphics without much sluggishness. It’s so reasonable, in fact, that just last night, I found myself reading a few websites that I can’t seem to stay away from. If you’re a blog-reading addict, as I am, then this is a pretty decent way to get your fix. I’m thinking that I should probably stay away from this kind of thing, simply because it’s just something else I’m going to end up shelling out clam$ for.
Honestly, trying to read blogs on a tiny mobile device screen kind of sucks, but on the other hand, if you’re desperate (read: traveling through bumf***), it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I loved every minute of it.
Second, let’s talk mobile TV. From what I can gather, there are really two distinct formats in play here. You’ve got your downloadable “clips,” and then you’ve got the ultra cool streaming live feeds. Simply put, the clips are really stale. If you’re so desperate for “moving pictures” that you’re willing to pay for a few clips of action on a mobile device, then you should quit reading this and go check on your frontal lobotomy stitches. The streaming live feeds, on the other hand, are pretty slick, and from just a minute or two of viewing, you can kind of get the idea where this facet of mobile delivery is heading.
The über networks like NBC, ABC, and FOX *cough* all have live feeds that deliver mobile-oriented, fresh content. Apparently the execs at CBS are too busy worrying about the transparency of their NFL contract to jump head first into the mobile arena, but everybody knows that’s the crappiest major network anyway. In addition to the live feeds I listed above, there are plenty of others available, but I’ll probably never check them out because I simply don’t care. I view the phone as a seconday means of content and information delivery – something that I’ll likely only use on a desperation/on-demand basis, and that type of usage typically comes about because I’m looking for a specific piece of information on the fly.
To its credit, the Samsung MM-A920 delivers video pretty smoothly, and although there’s a bit of choppiness (maybe a couple of frames dropped every 20 seconds or so), the overall quality is at least stomach-able. Apparently it’s good enough for me to make up words to describe it, so I guess you can take that for what it’s worth…
Oh, and on a final note, Sprint offers a few TV packages, among them Live and Ultimate. Live is actually cheaper than Ultimate, but Ultimate is rock dumb. If you are in the market for this kind of thing right now, don’t even consider the Ultimate, because the Live gives you – wait for it – LIVE feeds. The sneaky bastards have lumped ESPN into the Ultimate package, but all you get right now are those damned clips I told you about…and we all know how I feel about the stinking clips.
You have to think of this like Cable TV. Naturally, the companies lump ESPN into a “premium” package, just because they know this is likely 95% of the reason why you watch cable at all. Unless, of course, you’re under 18, in which case you can’t get enough of the hopeless drivel that MTV throws out there and calls “music” television. I’m here to tell you, though, don’t be an ESPN whore just yet – until they get into the live game, stick to NBC, ABC, and FOX, and save some cashish.
This probably won’t be my only offering to the blogosphere today, so yes, you still have a reason to live.