Archives For Mobile

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As with TiVo’s last software update, version 20.6.1 will primarily resolve additional open issues as the bulk of development and testing cycles are likely reserved for the upcoming OTA-only Bolt variant. So this isn’t exactly the most dramatic or blog-worthy topic and I didn’t really dig deep into what, specifically, this revision provides for Premiere, Roamio, and Mini owners. However, we’d previously been informed this particular update would finally enable TiVo Bolt out-of-home streaming, like Roamio Pro/Plus, to iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones or tablets – a feature notably absent from Bolt at launch, given new under-the-hood transcoding hardware. And this incoming functionality is seemingly confirmed by new TiVo marketing materials (above), indicating owners can “watch shows anywhere on your mobile device.” Assuming, of course, the content isn’t flagged and locked down by your hostile and punitive cable company (i.e. TWC).

20.6.1 begins deployment within the next couple weeks and, if you’d like to be amongst the first in line, register your TiVo units via the just-launched Priority Update Request.

T-Mobile’s innovative and contentious video streaming compromise took additional heat this week … when it was disclosed that YouTube, a non-Binge On partner, is being served to customers at 480p by default – irrespective of LTE speed and coverage. As to how many customers noticed the reduced quality on their own or are aware they can opt out of Binge On, we just don’t know.

Google’s YouTube complaint:

Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent

And T-Mobile’s response:

Using the term “throttle” is misleading. A better phrase is “mobile optimized” or a less flattering “downgraded” is also accurate.

I assume most consumers are satisfied with T-Mobile’s favorable rates over lesser quality cellularly-served video given the relatively small screens and abundance of WiFi. But it’ll be interesting to see if this runs afoul of FCC net neutrality guidance, should the situation escalate and despite their initial blessing.

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With the rollout of FiOS TV IMG software 3.0, Verizon is bringing new capabilities to us television customers. However, to pull this off you’ll seemingly need both FiOS TV set-box and router hardware in the mix… as the Quantum DVR becomes a video gateway.

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Within the home, our entire channel lineups will be available for mobile app streaming – versus the subset of channels Verizon has historically offered. And, as you can see from the pics above, we’ve tested it on an iPhone and iPad. However, Android is also supported – including Amazon Fire variants. Beyond live television, we’ll also have access a certain amount of shows recorded on our Quantum DVRs both in the home or on the go, similar to what Xfinity and TiVo offer. As to the various relationships and remote limitations, we’re just going to have to wait and see. Continue Reading…

As wireless data usage increases, T-Mobile has seemingly come up with a clever solution to satiate customers without saturating their network. “Binge On” will enable unlimited video streaming, from select providers like Netflix and WatchESPN, that doesn’t count against one’s cap. T-Mobile marketing states they’ve “optimized” the video … which some are reporting as 480p. On the go, on a small screen, that may be sufficient for most. I’d probably make that trade at the gym for treadmill Netflix, given the facility’s WiFi struggles and the potential to burn through my Verizon bucket.

From Fierce Wireless:

The reality is that Binge On will be imposed on all of T-Mobile’s customers starting Sunday, including the ones who have signed up for its unlimited data plans. Customers who don’t want the service will have to opt out of it. Yes, Binge On gives T-Mobile’s customers free streaming video, but it also reduces the resources T-Mobile needs to employ to deliver that video. It’s a smart move, but it’s not as altruistic as Legere might imply.

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Of course, there are two sides to every coin. And some will object to reduced video quality. Assuming they even know T-Mobile took the liberty of making that change on their behalf. Further, “zero rating” is something of a net neutrality issue. Continue Reading…

Verizon launched a new online video service of some sort  — and I suspect I might too old, too cranky, or just too discerning to appreciate it. However, if you’re a VZW customer like me, creating a go90 account from your smartphone will net you a bonus 2GB of data for a period of three months. So why not?

Go90

(Thanks Chris!)

I Dumped T-Mobile for Verizon

Dave Zatz —  September 27, 2015

After nearly two years on T-Mobile, I’ve returned to Verizon. T-Mobile offers the best rates (of the major carriers), the most progressive policies, and stellar customer support. Yet, despite network improvements, their coverage continues to lag the competition (in the places I find myself) and we’ve concluded reliability must be our priority. Even in my high density, supposedly well-served area, it’s been kind of ridiculous driving home from work with my phone pinned between my sun visor and roof, while squinting from the glare, in hopes of preventing calls from being disrupted in some way (and rarely succeeding).

Verizon dropping the BS “activation” fee allowed me to contemplate coming back home. And, once in store to review the options, they made an offer we couldn’t refuse. My older iPhone 5s net a lofty $300 trade-in valuation — about double what T-Mobile and Gazelle offered. And, as an existing FiOS customer, $200 was knocked off iPhone 6s hardware pricing via some sort of promotion I wasn’t aware of but gladly took part in. To seal the deal, a few months down the line, I’ll be getting a $100 “port-in” credit as a “new” customer.

Our T-Mobile two-line plan included unlimited everything for $100/month, whereas the new Verizon plan runs $120 for a shared 12GB of LTE data. It’s obviously not as generous and at a higher rate. But, again, we’re willing to pay a premium for the best network. And our long national nightmare is over.

By Malathi Nayak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc will launch a trial version of its new mobile video service on Tuesday, aiming to prove that telecom players can compete with mobile ad industry titans Google Inc and Facebook Inc.

Verizon said its service, a mobile app dubbed “GO90”, will be offered initially to a select set of its own customers, with advertisements from well-known brands, which it declined to name, but without newly acquired ad technology from AOL, the media company it bought in June for $4.4 billion.

go90

Continue Reading…

By way the FCC, I have a sneaking suspicion that Amazon is set to unveil a new Fire tablet. And, unlike prior models, this mystery device (SG98EG, 2ADU6-8274) lists microSD support. Whether or not the storage expansion slot can only be accessed during engineering testing and if this is really an Amazon product remain to be seen. But please enjoy this bit of gibberish (aka Jib Wresh LLC) while we await unveiling of the “Tablet PC” … and hopefully another Fire TV or two.

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