MobiTV on Motorola Droid X via Verizon?


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  1. Grans

    Grans Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hey there, i'm new here, and new to smartphones in general. I'll be purchasing an Android phone tomorrow and i'll probably be using this forum from now on (which is a great one, thanks for it).

    What i'm not sure is what carrier and what model of Android phone i'll be going with. It's going to be a family phone for traveling. I'm considering two models-

    1- Motorola Droid X from Verizon
    2- Samsung Captivate from AT&T

    The only deciding factor is MobiTV. It is absolutely essential for my mom to have, and will be the #1 deciding point in the deal. I know for sure the Samsung phone can indeed run MobiTV. What i'm not sure of is the Droid X. It's not important to me, but it is to my mother.

    I asked the sales representative at Verizon wireless if they had MobiTV for any of their phones, and the lady told us no due to it being crappy and unstable, prone to freezing. I wasn't sure if that was just that they chose not to install it on any phones at the store or not. I asked another guy at Walmart, and he said i should be able to download it manually from the Android marketplace or whatever it's called. Also, on MobiTV's website, they list Verizon as one of the supported carriers for their services. So now i'm quite confused.

    Rooting will be something i'm going to do, so if i need to do that to get MobiTV, i shall. And i'll need a phone i CAN root obviously, so that's a concern. I don't know the full list of phones that can be fully rooted and have you install 3rd party or unauthorized apps on... My questions is basically, is there ANY way to get MobiTV on a Verizon Motorola Droid X? It's important that we get live TV on the go, we will be needing news channels, specifically Fox News, NBC, or any other network news as well (general news). I'd also be interested in hearing about other services on the phone that does the same thing as well. As long as it's live streaming TV news i can access from a 3G network on the interstate or whatever.

    Sorry for the long post, but i needed to get in as much info as possible. I'll try to provide more info or clarify as needed. I'm in a bit of a hurry as the final decision will almost certainly be made tomorrow. There are still some slight possibilities i'll be going with other carriers too, any advice would be well taken. We intend to be traveling west, near Colorado and all those states. Thanks so much in advance!
     

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  2. Old Man

    Old Man Well-Known Member

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    The Verizon rep was probably referring to the Qualcomm FloTV service they have offered as an optional service for some phones. With that service the phone is actually using a separate signal for TV, thus it uses neither airtime minutes nor data. However, while the service area for FloTV has improved dramatically, it was originally very limited and is still nowhere near the coverage area of Verizon's 3G service. And I think it is currently only available on the HTC Imagio.

    I believe that AT&T's Mobile TV service is similar, including a rather limited service area coverage and being limited to just a few phones, which apparently does not include the Captivate.

    MobiTV is a subscription app that runs as data. MobiTV is available for the Captivate but seems to have a quirk in that it apparently requires turning off Wi-Fi, forcing it to run on 3G with what has to be a fairly high data use for plans that have a 2GB cap. Maybe that will change with an update.

    MobiTV is currently available for several Verizon phones but apparently not any of the Verizon Android phones. However, MobiTV has stated that they do plan to address the Android market, so you may see it available on the Droid X in the near future.

    You might also want to look at Slingbox. More investment upfront but it may be cheaper in the long run.
     
  3. Grans

    Grans Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Well that seems pretty much confirmed then, i can't get a phone unless it has MobiTV. It's something that is required in the case of my mother, so there's nothing i can do about it. I'm well aware how mobitv works and the subscriptions that apply to it, i just needed to know if the Droid X could run it, which apparently it can't.

    We can't do anything with a DVR, satellite, cable, or anything. We need live TV streaming over a 3G network that you can watch anywhere in the country. We're about to move out of our current home and will not have any residence until we return from our trip. So there's not anything we can stream TV from that we actually own. We need to have a phone that you can watch live TV from a cellular network, and it has to be an Android device. Looks like my only other option was just eliminated, so i'll most likely be getting the Captivate along with AT&T's service.

    So if there are any live TV apps that you can run from a 3G network only besides MobiTV, AND that will work with Droid X, i'd appreciate the info. It HAS to run from a 3G network though. I can't stream it from a home-based receiver or anything. And it HAS to be live. Specifically for news, i'm not interested in sports or movies or entertainment channels. I just cannot be tied to any physical box at home or anything since i won't have that (moving, and while traveling will be disconnecting any TV services for several months). Remember, the 3G network is what i'm aiming for. I'm aware that you can't use MobiTV via wifi too. If i'm near wifi, i'll probably not be watching tv on my phone, but on an actual TV. :)

    Thanks for all the help so far, you've already answered my question about mobitv, now i just need to know if there are any alternative apps that are identical.
     
  4. dylo22

    dylo22 Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused. Are you getting the phone for yourself or your mother?
     
  5. 1up5dn

    1up5dn Well-Known Member Contributor

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    If you "require live TV on 3g, anywhere", then I definitely would NOT be getting AT&T! Coming from a guy who drives around the country, you cannot beat the Verizon 3g network. I haven't searched for them myself, but just from looking for other apps, etc I have seen quite a few live TV and news apps. Certainly enough to keep someone busy for long hours on the road. Plus, if you get into a long term contract with AT&T and the coverage stinks, it may only be a few weeks or a month or two and MobiTV will be on the market.

    It sounds like you already know what you want, though. Good luck with your decision.
     
  6. Grans

    Grans Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Both. We'll be sharing it as a family phone. But the prime factor in decision making here is her. Otherwise, i'll have to buy a totally new phone for myself. If i let her decide, i'll still be getting a good Android phone (never had a smartphone before), and i won't have to pay for it. I'm ABLE to get my own, but i have better things to worry about. I still have an older phone and can get another cheaper phone if necessary. But the opportunity arrived for me to get a sweet phone without paying, and i'm taking it. Can you blame me?

    If you were asking that because you think i'm not able to get my own stuff, then i am. But i cut corners, so there's your answer. I'll be using it a lot more than she is, but we have to satisfy both our tastes. I'm a bigger fan of Verizon (hate AT&T), but she has to have live TV over a 3G network... I'll be using it for the online access, maybe games, and all the gadgets you can do with it. Talking too of course if necessary.

    @1up5dn

    I agree that AT&T looks like it has crappy coverage. But no mobitv, no go. We won't be using it in a couple of months anyways. It's specifically for a long road trip, maybe a month long one. We can't wait a few months, it has to be here now.
     
  7. krichek

    krichek Well-Known Member

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    Quite frankly MobiTV should not be a factor in deciding which phone to get frankly. I had the X for 15 days side by side with a Vibrant from TMobile. The Vibrant also comes with MobiTV w/ a 30 day free subscription. To be blunt it's crap! The picture is a pixelated mess that rarely fills the screen, audio sounds very tinny and hollow and whats available leaves alot to be desired as well.

    Your mother honestly would be better served by learning how to convert her own media for use on her device as MobiTV is not worth the $10 per month they want for it!
     
  8. Grans

    Grans Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    I don't think you understand the situation at all. What you keep telling me to do is "learn how to convert or stream it from a home receiver". We've already seen what mobitv is like, the parent believes it is worth it, and she can do whatever she pleases. Seeing this forum and your responses about what she should learn to do (or me relaying the info to her) is not going to stop her from getting it.

    She wants to stream LIVE TV for news. Not prerecorded video for entertainment, she wants live tv news to watch in the car or wherever we're going. Radio isn't good enough for her either. I don't think you understand why she wants it. It's not something we intend on keeping either, just for about a month or two while we travel around.

    And to be blunt, i apologize for this- telling me what she should learn how to do is not what i came here to hear, it's not our purpose. Both she and myself are perfectly capable of converting media and downloading it to a phone. What i wish to know is about live tv streaming, particularly for news. So far, i've seen rather evasive responses or telling me what she should be doing, not giving me a strait answer. It's not helping. I don't mean to be rude, but i came here to find out a specific answer, and have been given very little... The best answer was from 1up5dn who told me that there were live tv news apps for Droid X. But i still don't know how specific that is.

    BTW, i myself have seen MobiTV on a Samsung Captivate. It was a good picture to me, perfectly smooth and readable for our needs. Sounded good too, and the service had what we needed right off the bat (news channels, it's not for entertainment like sitcoms or movies, just news). Our deciding factor IS MobiTV, so if you think it shouldn't be, well you're simply not us. I ask you to respect that, because trying to convince us otherwise just won't cut it (or rather, her, i don't care about it either way). Either way, it's something you shouldn't try to talk us out of. It won't work.
     
  9. dylo22

    dylo22 Well-Known Member

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    No, I just didn't understand why your mother want MobiTV on a phone you are going to be using majority of the time. Why get a phone with MobiTV and pay $10 a month when she's only going to use it occasionally? I'm not trying to be a prick. I just don't see the logic in it. That's why I'm confused.
     
  10. Grans

    Grans Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    We'll both be using it a lot in the next month or two. Later on, i'll be the main user as she stops using the TV part. But regardless of that, there's no convincing her to get a phone that doesn't have MobiTV. She saw it and wanted it due to the convenience of seeing live tv news on a phone (no other way for us to get that). I myself was impressed by the quality of it, so we don't need to be told it sucks, we thought it was good.

    The logic is better to us, there's not use trying to figure it out. I'm just trying to figure out which Android carriers offer live TV news channel streaming. That's the ONLY concern to us as of now. I've done research elsewhere and besides the coverage between carriers, i think both phones will serve my purpose just fine. I can always get a cheaper phone from Verizon if i want better coverage all over the nation.
     
  11. krichek

    krichek Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if you took what I was saying the wrong way. Having used MobiTV several times in the hopes that it would be useful (I've got 4 kids, trust me having some options when you are out an stuck waiting onsomething is very helpful). I just thought perhaps you werent familar with it and were going to be expecting more than it would deliever. Because for me the quality is lacking especially when the cost is factored in.

    If you or your mother has seen it and are ok with the quality then that is your choice. As far as TMobile and the Vibrant go, MobiTV comes standard and has a 30 day free trial, you can't use wifi tho it's all over the network. For Verizon I don't know if it's available on the X but I am almost positive I have seen it advertized for the original Droid.

    If you go to the Mobitv website and follow the prompts it looks like you can send a text from your phone and download it that way if it isn't offered. Might want to call them and ask them if that would work.
     
  12. Grans

    Grans Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    We have decided to go with AT&T, and it's simple- if we hate it, we'll just switch. Hehe, simple. :p

    I've actually tried MobiTV when it WAS truly unwatchable. I think it was back in 2006 or so, Sprint had it and it was before any of these phones were anywhere near decent. Ran at 1 frames per second at the best of times. Was a nightmare. Here though, we both tested it on the Androids and the picture was actually really darn good considering it's live TV over a 3G network. Watched a few news channels for a couple of minutes and even that tiny scrolling text at the bottom of news channels was perfectly readable. It was really impressive and worked really well for us, so to each his/her own i guess...

    I did just notice this though-
    Verizon confirms Droid 2 release date, Froyo - AfterDawn

    Got her interested in that due to Flash player support, much faster, and better browser. We're also into skype too, so that's a plus. Whether it has MobiTV or not, i'm not sure. Maybe this can convince her to wait though... We'll see. It's pretty hard to figure all these phones out though lol! I'm not sure how long it would take to get it rooted either, so that might suck. Unless it's rootable from the get-go.
     
  13. 1up5dn

    1up5dn Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Yes, that is starting to be a problem! These new phones are starting to come out faster and faster. The Droid 2 will be a winner, especially for those that want the keyboard. It will also be eligible for Gingerbread (3.0) when it comes out.

    Decisions, decisions............. Que up the Jeopardy theme song!
     
  14. Grans

    Grans Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    I actually showed her this thread, and i am stunned. She's now considering the Droid. She is satisfied by watching some live streams online. Found some of her news sources have streaming from their own websites. But before we commit, i want to ask a couple of questions-

    We're going to tether our laptop to our Android phone. Via 3G wireless i mean. I'm not too familiar with wireless speeds, but do you think it would be fast enough to stream some non-HD live video on our laptop via the 3G network? We're currently using DSL at home which is about 300 kilobytes per second. Would the 3G network be enough?

    And secondly, for the Droid 2. I'm not familiar with rooting either. I know how to do it, but i would imagine it will take some time to find out how to do it. Is there a usual time it takes to developer a rooting device? One of the reasons behind wanting to root it is to have free tethering to a laptop.

    We're still not sure if we're going to get the Droid X or just wait for Droid 2... Hard to figure out. At least we got out of the requirement of MobiTV though.
     
  15. 1up5dn

    1up5dn Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Tethering is definitely fast enough to watch video. I was surprised by the speed when tethered. Not that I've done it....................it was a buddy, that's it.

    Anyway, you don't have to be rooted to tether. There are a few tether apps on the market.
     
  16. Grans

    Grans Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the confirmation about video speed. I do realize you can tether without rooting, but i heard you have to pay some kind of fee to do it unless you root your phone and download a free app to do it. Or can you get free tether apps without rooting?
     
  17. mcshady96

    mcshady96 New Member

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    probably the best decision would be to get the dx for the coverage purposes and just tether the phone to a laptop...that way, you have a lot more options and you're not necessarily paying a monthly fee locking yourself into a tv subscription. just a thought.

    there is one specific app that will let you tether without being rooted...you will find it pretty quickly if you look for it im sure
     
  18. Steven58

    Steven58 Reformed PH VIP Member

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    Not to be off topic, but don't you think that since the thing is a phone, that cell-phone service should be a deciding factor? Just sayin.
     
  19. Old Man

    Old Man Well-Known Member

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    Since you are discussing tethering and streaming video, think about the potential data usage and related costs. This might be a particular problem in the first few months as it sounds like you are most interested in those functions when you'll probably also be using data more heavily for downloading and trying apps and just plain old playing with your new phone. I guess I'd be looking at it as the $29.99 per month with a 5GB 'soft' cap and greater service coverage versus $25 per month with a 2GB cap, $10 per GB for overage and lesser coverage potentially being considerations, at least for some time.

    If you wanted to work things all nice and legal for tethering then I believe that you're looking at an additional $20 per month on AT&T, $45 per month total, with the same 2GB cap and $10 per GB overage costs or $59.99 per month for Verizon with the same 5GB 'soft' cap.
     

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