iPad – Personal TV Anywhere

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Netflix iPad App

The free Netflix iPad app allows you to watching streaming movies or TV shows from the Netflix catalog anywhere you have an Internet connection.

The CEO of Qualcomm recently admitted that the company’s FloTV mobile television sevice, which delivered a paid form of cable TV to mobile phones, has not done so well. Folks (like me) want the content, but why pay for it when there are so many ways to get TV services without the monthly fee?

I have been using my iPhone as a pocket TV for a couple of years and now that the iPad is here, mobile TV has come to a new level thanks to those wonderful apps, some free, some paid.

Here’s a rundown of some of the great iPad apps that let you take your TV wherever you have an Internet connection.

iTunes – Naturally this is included with the iPad. You can purchase or rent TV shows and movies and watch them through the Video app (also included). The videos look outstanding on the iPad screen. Yes, my first post iPad movie purchase was the JJ Abrams Star Trek. There is a reason it is used in the iPad promotions. It looks GREAT on the iPad screen! Free

YouTube – Again, this app is included with the iPad and the videos look great. Unfortunately, the YouTube app is just a viewer. It appears that you still have to go to the web site in a browser to favorite videos or share them. Even more unfortunate, you can’t access the new TV show and movie content that YouTube is now offering. They are in Flash. Get with it Google! Free

Netflix – This is my absolute favorite iPad app! I can stream available Netflix videos with terrific video clarity. Just imagine having video on demand wherever you can connect, something we only dreamed of a short time ago. Alas, the app isn’t perfect. You can play videos in your queue or browse through the catalog for stuff to play, but you still have to go to the site with your web browser to add content to your queue. Free
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Considering Bundled Service? Maybe You Should Reconsider…

Bundling your telcom services might now be such a good ideaMy area recently suffered an all day service failure with Timer Warner Cable. Everything was down – TV, Internet, VOIP phone – all of the services offered by the media giant. Fortunately for me, it happened on a weekend. Otherwise I would have been screwed as I work from home and do everything over the Internet and phone.

I was furious to think that a company that pushes the hell out of their bundled one-stop package would allow itself to be put in this position (Like they’d have a redundant backup of some kind). All of their customers in the area were without these services. It’s bad enough to have TV down, but if you bundle your services with one company, EVERYTHING goes down in an outage. No TV, no Internet and no telephone.

I currently get high speed Internet and TV from Time Warner. I don’t use their phone service. My VOIP is through Packet 8, but without Internet, I was without my telephone, too.

So, I got to thinking. Like investing, it is probably a good idea to diversify your communications services.

Yes, you might save a few bucks with a bundle, but you run the risk of being without all telecom services in an outage such as what my area went through (and it was not the first time).

So, I’m looking at breaking up these services. I’d like one source for Internet, another for television programming and one for telephone. I am fortunate enough to be in an area where I can get an alternative to all of these (not so fortunate to have fiber optics like Fios yet, though). It could be a mixture of basic cable from Time Warner, DirecTV for premiums, DSL and cell phone service (using VOIP as a backup rather than primary service) or other mashups.

Whatever, I am determined not to let any company put me into the position of having NO service because of a single outage. For me, the teensy savings offered with such a bundle is not worth the potential inconvience or frustration.

Rant over. 😉

MTV Like It Used To Be – Online!

Yes, you can have your MTV, even in 2008!In my post a few months ago, Social Media & S E O: I Want My MTV!, I lamented the loss of the original MTV format – 24 hours of non-stop music videos. If you’ve watched the channel lately, you’ll see music videos from time to time, but the format is mostly movies, music related documentaries and bad reality programming.

An interesting Internet-only TV channel has stepped in to fill the void. Available through TVU Networks, the strangely named BroccoliTV shows 80s videos non-stop (I’m watching The B-52s Love Shack video as I write this). It’s free. You can either watch through your browser (I could only get it to work with Internet Explorer, not Firefox) or you can download their viewing software.

TVU Networks offers a lot of other Internet video viewing, including a few cable channels like Sci-Fi Channel and Comedy Central. Most channels work great, but some could stand for better compression as they came through jerky, even on my 130 Mbps connection.

Cool! Hot in the City and White Wedding by Billy Idol!

I miss the VJs, though!