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Summary:

Tablet and smartphone owners wanting to watch TV content on their mobile devices are no longer stuck using Wi-Fi to do so. Verizon now allows mobile broadband streaming of 9 channels, plus local content in certain markets.

HGTV on a tablet

Until now, Verizon FiOS customers that wanted to watch TV on their smartphone or tablet were limited to the confines of their home wireless network. On Friday, Verizon announced that some of its channels can now be viewed away from home. The company is setting 9 stations free from home Wi-Fi and customers in certain cities can also watch their local news and weather.

Here’s information on the lineup of channels:

Now, channels available with this initial rollout out of the home include BBC AmericaBBC World NewsEPIXNFL Network (tablet only) including “Thursday Night Football,” Tennis Channel and networks from Scripps Networks Interactive including Food Network and Travel Channel.  All you need is an Internet connection to watch live TV away from the home.

Local affiliate channels for news and weather can be viewed parts of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

As a FiOS customer near Philadelphia, I routinely watch television at home on my tablets or through my Xbox 360 on the home Wi-Fi network. The full complement of channels for this is around 75, so 9 is a meager offering. But it is a welcome start so that consumers don’t have to be within the confines of a home network to bring content to more screens.

Verizon says the updated FiOS Mobile is freely available for iOS devices, Android smartphones and tablets, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets.

  1. Smartphones need to be made smart enough to capture and store, unattended, video from an on-the-air digital TV station. It’d reduce the load on cellular channels.

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  2. Let’s hope that other pay-TV providers offer similar mobile services to subscribers.

    I’m a Time Warner Cable subscriber, but I’ve not been able to get their live streaming cable channel offering to work correctly thus far. In contrast, the HBO Go and Max Go archive services are working flawlessly.

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