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MobiTV for our Treo now in Active Beta

UPDATE: MobiTV subscription is now available to purchase in the Treonauts Shop.

There’s some great news and not so great news.

The great news is that MobiTV is finally in active beta for our Treo (650 only at present).  As some will remember, I first wrote about MobiTV back in July last year and because the service was not available for our Treo I suggested that Treonauts email the company to lobby them to develop a solution for us. 

Following this, I met a couple of MobiTV executives at CTIA in September who told me that they had received so many email requests that they had decided to respond by actioning Treo development.  I hadn’t anticipated that it would take almost a full year to see a solution but I am nonetheless thrilled to see one now.




The not so great news is that although MobiTV have credited us with having created the interest that led them to develop a Treo-specific solution they have nonetheless very disappointgly completely kept me out of the loop [not quite see update2 below] on their beta and it’s been impossible to get someone at the company to respond to my requests for one.  I have thus personally actually not had the opportunity to experience any of it yet.  As before, perhaps you could email MobiTV and ask them to “Please let Treonauts review your beta”.

[UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who emailed MobiTV requesting that they let us have a beta and review their new offering.  They’ve been extremely nice and apologetic about it and have since provided me with the beta – as others have mentioned it really is very, very cool.  I will review it fully shortly.]

[UPDATE2: Ooops… Sincere apologies are in order as a series of misunderstandings and poor communication on my part actually revealed that MobiTV had contacted me a full month in advance with the opportunity to beta test their new offering.  Unfortunately my spam filter ‘ate’ their email and I discovered it too late…  ]

At present, the interest in MobiTV’s beta has been massive and early beta testers appear to be overwhelmingly positive about the MobiTV experience on their Treo over different networks.  Most thought that the interface was very slick, the sound quality is apparently good and the video quality with a 25 channel offering is pretty good as well (some pixelation and choppiness) but not full motion – that will probably have to wait until the arrival of our Treo 670 which will likely support EVDO/UMTS/3G high-speed data connections.  Also, one drawback is that you can’t receive calls while watching MobiTV on either Sprint or Verizon’s CDMA networks but a good thing is that you can run it from the card using PowerRun for example.  Overall, as someone noted, the quality is not amazing but the novelty of the technology makes up for this.

MobiTV have set up a dedicated page where you can register to be notified when their service becomes commercially available and it is also via this page that early beta testers have been selected – but MobiTV have now closed new users from joining the beta program.  According to the company, “commercial availibility is just around the corner with Sprint in the first week or two of September, and on other carriers shortly thereafter”.

MobiTV unofficially had this to say about the Treo beta:

“Hi everybody -- I just wanted to chime in briefly from inside MobiTV, I've spoken with a number of you and I think after a very interesting 24 hours we've gotten things pretty under control and came away with a lot of fantastic feedback. So first of all, thanks!

Do read this thread, it summarizes all the issues I know about and their workarounds (we will fix a number of them in the shipping app and continue to diagnose as we can), and I assure you that we are cranking on getting this thing to market and improving it based on your comments. I'm a long time Treo user, and making this app rock has been a priority for me and all of us. But a lot of you have asked why we didn't go fully public with the beta, and there are two main reasons that I can share with you:

-The feedback load is way more than we can handle already, let alone with more people involved (and we want to be able to respond to everybody, I hope I haven't missed any of you on technical concerns)

-This beta is not running on our production infrastructure, it's just one box. To make sure everybody has a good experience, we need to keep the numbers fairly limited, and I beg you all to respect that, even though the process for giving this out may seem arbitrary. Once this launches for real, bring it on!

So thanks again for all your interest, and please do report any further feedback to [email protected]. And even beyond the 650, we are firmly committed to Palm and have some very interesting plans in the works. So keep an eye out!”

The last comment seems particularly interesting and I wonder what else MobiTV may have up their sleeve in the coming months – surely this must be a hint of a ‘special’ service for our future Treo 670.

I evidently think that the addition of the MobiTV service for our Treo is absolutely terrific news and I am dying to experience it for myself.  In the meantime though I’ll have to settle for the two MobiTV screenshots which Treobits released as well as a video that Treolo posted at the Treocentral forum.

Stay Tuned… [Treobits]
MobiTV Treo 650 Beta started today [Treocentral Forum]
MobiTV on your Treo - soon... [Treonauts]

Treonauts are ecstatic about mobile television

Posted by Andrew on August 26, 2005 at 10:32 AM

Treo Software | Television

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by Al | Aug 26, 2005 1:50:25 PM

The correct link for the video is:

It will probably go away in a few days. Could somebody host it while it is available?



by Andrew | Aug 26, 2005 1:57:45 PM

Thanks Al - I just updated the video link.

Cheers, A.

by Mikasa | Aug 26, 2005 2:09:46 PM

woohooo, i got a beta! i was picked! its okay. nothing to write home about. the programming isn't all that great and the video is choppy. audio comes out fine though.

by Al | Aug 26, 2005 3:50:53 PM

From what I've read and compared. It seems like Sprint users have better video than GSM users. I have Sprint and video is really good and sound too. Now, let's not forget that we are streaming video and sound with a modem speed connection.


by freddynorman | Aug 26, 2005 4:08:07 PM

Congrats Andrew! Keep us informed after you bang on it for awhile!


by A. Davis | Aug 26, 2005 5:46:25 PM

I can only hope that at some point they will add the Playboy TV Channel. :) Right now, though, at least I'm able to rip it with my Tivo, then copy it to my PC, then to my SD Card, then play it with TCPMP. Oh, the lengths to go... (no pun intended).

And on the same subject, I've recently made some major updates to the Entertainment page of my site (http://mobileoptimized.com/Entertainment.html)... scroll down to the "Over 18 Only" (http://mobileoptimized.com/Entertainment.html#MobileEnjoyment) section and enjoy...

by Taylor Hively aka TaylorH | Aug 28, 2005 12:29:47 AM

It was commented that you can not receive a phone call while watching MobiTV on the Sprint and Verizon phones.
I'd like to confirm that on the GSM phones you can receive a call while watching MobiTV. GPRS/EDGE data is always interrupted to receive an incoming call (the reverse is trye on CDMA phones) and I've tested this over and over, the call always comes through as expected.

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