There appears to be a growing mobile television trend; add VDC Mobile Television to the list. Brighthand provides an informative review of the service that allows you to view Internet television channels on any web-connected device; VDC isn’t limited to handhelds. If you want to preview the service for free, there are a few channels available at no charge. Just point your browser at VDC’s site and pick your station.
VDC Mobile Television looks and sounds reminiscent of Orb; the main differences are:
- VDC costs $11.95 a month; Orb is free.
- With a TV tuner card installed, you can watch local broadcast television with Orb, not so on VDC.
- Orb detects your network speed and optimizes for it; with VDC, you manually select one of four available bitrate options.
I did watch a little NASA TV on my Windows Mobile 5 device this morning using VDC. Like other streaming apps, it uses Windows Media Player, and works just as well as any other service I’ve used.
I have to question a paid monthly service like VDC when Orb is free and SlingMedia has their Mobile software at a one time fee of $29.99 (plus a $200 SlingBox). The channel selection isn’t that different between VDC and Orb, so I’d personally be hard-pressed to subscribe, but it’s clearly a personal choice.
One other odd bit: one of the free preview channels is an HD Demo channel. The entire point of that channel is presumably to showcase high-definition content, which requires a minimum resolution of 720 horizontal lines of resolution; you should find that on most monitors and notebooks these days, but on a mobile device? Not gonna happen. ;)