TV to your phone, via GPRS

ROK TVThe folks over at AllAboutSymbian have reviewed ROK TV. The service currently supports a fairly wide variety of Nokia Series 60 phones and features about a dozen channels. The current channels are quite limited, with the CNN and ITN news channels being the only actual 'live TV' broadcasts. The remaining channels - a mix of sports, music, cartoons, sci-fi and lifestyle channels - are mostly on repeating loops. There are plans to add movie channels and 'premium' channels. No word on what constitutes a 'premium' channel, but our money is on live sports coverage, particularly football and horse racing, and possibly some kind of adult channel. The service is currently only available in the UK.

The review gives the application and service top marks, saying that while the service itself is virtually flawless, it is the extortionate GPRS costs in the UK that will be the doom of ROK TV. At standard pay-as-you-go rates a 10 minute TV broadcast can cost the user as much as £20! With unlimited GPRS packages costing in the £45 per month region, on top of your regular mobile phone bill, ROK TV is still too expensive for most people to justify.

From the review:

ROK TV is a professional streaming solution for live television that works (really) over traditional 2.5G networks. In other words, using standard GPRS data at a relatively modest 4K of data per second. At the moment, ROK TV's in its 'try me' stage, hoping for network operators to pick up on the huge potential in terms of data traffic over their network and then to license the system.

At the moment, the only live channels are ITN News 24, CNN, Cartoon Network, Tidy TV, SN TV and F3. Of which only the first two are genuinely and innovatively live, of course. There are a few other channels repeating the same recorded material. This may not seem a very big channel range, but it's jaw-droppingly impressive seeing live broadcast TV on your smartphone for the very first time. Part of you will scream inside 'YEESSS'. This is how live news should appear on your handset. It's a true killer app. 

The problem is that your wallet will (more loudly) shout 'NOOO'. Now, please hear me, what I'm about to say is not in any way ROK TV's fault, which is why I gave it such a high score above. ROK TV itself is a really well-programming application, playing back streaming TV video with only the occasional stutter. To do what it does over GPRS is astounding.


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