I was given the ability to test out SPB’s new version of the their IP-TV solution called SPB TV2.0. Mobility Digest did a review of version 1.0 which can be read here. Most of Steve’s thoughts are exactly the same that I had when testing this software out. The funny thing is I didn’t even read his review till after I spent 2 days with this software. The blocked quote below is an overview of what TV 2.0 is.
SPB TV is a highly usable IP-TV solution, optimized to run on mobile devices. SPB TV provides users with lots of
channels in multiple languages with easy-to-use features and settings.
SPB TV 2.0 is free for the end-user and requires no subscription fee which
makes it advertising-supported software. A full-screen image ad insertion
will appear between data buffering times as in opening and switching quality
times to deliver uninterrupted mobile TV experience.
Video on Demand
Video on Demand feature has been added to let the viewer control what
they view and when they want to view. Unlike broadcast TV, VOD offers
greater choice and interactivity.
H.264 codec is capable of providing good video quality at substantially lower
bit rates than previous standards. H.264 codec supports mobile phones
fitted with H.264 hardware accelerator only.
Integrated TV Guide
Under the preview picture you can see the integrated TV guide, tapping on it
will open the full channel TV guide for the next few days.
Setting a Reminder
You can easily add a reminder, from the TV guide, to remind you of the show that you don’t want to miss.
Normal and High Quality Streams
You can manually switch to the lower video quality stream in case of network fluctuations or decline in Internet
In the channel selecting panel you can see a preview picture of a selected channel displayed in inset window. This
allows you to have the illusion of channel surfing without having to sit through the buffer time to see what is
currently on that channel.
My thoughts are as follows. This piece of software does look very nice and the presentation is top notch. It does take advantage if you have a touch enabled blackberry which is a nice feature. I wasn’t able to test this as I am stuck with a curve. I did notice a little bit of a lag between the trackpad and the screen but I am contributing that to my device being an older Curve.
In order to use the software you must have either a wi-fi or a 3g connection. This makes sense as you are streaming video to your device. I have tested both and I couldn’t tell a difference in quality which is a major plus in my book.
However, here is where I feel this software is severely lacking. I know that this is free and all but the channels that are available, in all honesty, just do not interest me. The channel guide can be found here. As you can see the majority of them are news channels or public access. We get 5 FOX channels but none of them were playing NFL football during my test. They all were on either Traffic Cams, or weather reports. Which I know if because of NFL rules. As Steve pointed out in his original review if there were some other US channels then I could see myself using this app quite a bit.
But I can’t just give this app a bad review because of a lack of channels as this app does stream VERY nice and I was absolutely amazed at how well the picture did look on my phone. The backbone is set up for SPB to have a very good product on their hands once they can some other programming. However, outside the US the selections do seem to be better. Below are some screenshots of what the new version looks like.