Verizon Wireless launched a broadcast TV service today for mobile phones in about 20 markets. The pricing is between $15 to $25 a month for up to 8 channels (Mobile TV is available standalone or as a bundle).
I found the selection of launch cities to be a bit strange. The VCast Mobile TV will not be available in many of the major cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, Houston. The initial launch cities are:
- Dallas-Fort Worth,
- Las Vegas,
- Minneapolis-St. Paul,
- New Orleans,
- St. Louis,
- SaltLake City,
- Portland, Ore.,
- Tuscon, Ariz.,
- Omaha and Lincoln inNebraska,
- the Albuquerque-Santa Fe region of New Mexico;
- Palm Springs,Calif.,
- Colorado Springs, Colo.,
- Jacksonville, Fla.,
- Wichita, Kan.,
- theNorfolk-Richmond region of Virginia,
- and Spokane, Wash.
The eight 24-hour channels are CBS Mobile, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox Mobile, MTV, NBC 2Go, NBC News 2Go and Nickelodeon. But how similar is it to your regular TV programming? According to the Wired article, "the MTV broadcast will be identical around the clock; CBS Mobile willshow some daytime soap operas at different hours, but featuresimultaneous showings of the "CBS Evening News," "Survivor" and the"Late Show With David Letterman"; On Comedy Central, "The Daily Show"and the "The Colbert Report" will be shown at their normal hour, but"South Park," "Reno 911," and "Chappelle's Show" will be time-shifted."
Now on to the more tech-oriented stuff. The Wired article says that the Mobile TV service is delivered over a separate wireless network not operated by the telecoms. Apparently it is operatedby Qualcomm Inc., and requires a new handset with dual capabilities of receiving thebroadcast signal as well as the regular cellular signal for voice and data.
The official site: Verizon Mobile TV
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