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Verizon Cell Phone TV Service Launched

Aug 17, 2007
On March 1st, 2007, Verizon Wireless officially launched their mobile TV service, which has been branded Vcast Mobile TV. For now, the service will be available in 20 markets.

The service is already available from Verizon, and users can visit Verizon's site or call *611 from their handsets to subscribe. Verizon is offering the service for $15.

For users that have already been using Verizon's Vcast service, there is a package where users can keep all their current service options, and get Vcast mobile TV for $25 total each month.

Vcast currently allows Verizon customers to download music, video clips, wallpapers, screen savers, games, and more. The videos that users have been able to download include: sports highlights, comedy, television shows, and more.

However, none of the shows were live television; surely Vcast users everywhere will be upgrading.

Verizon has announced that Vcast Mobile TV will have eight live channels including: CBS, Comedy Central, Fox, MTV, NBC News, NBC Entertainment, and Nickelodeon. Even though the lineup is quite modest at this point in time, Verizon will be able to get the bugs out of the system. Verizon says that they plan to expand the lineup soon.

Verizon is using Qualcomm's MediaFlo technology for the service. The technology allows for streaming video to inexpensively reach the hands of wireless users. It appears at this time that AT&T will also use MediaFlo when they release their mobile television service later this year.

AT&T and T-Mobile have both announced that they will be offering some kind of mobile television service sometime this year. Sprint Nextel has yet to comment on the addition of the service. Sprint Nextel does offer, however, a service that allows users to download video clips, so it shouldn't be a stretch for them to implement.

At this point in time, there is only one model that Verizon offers with the service. The Samsung SCH-a620 offers streaming video and unprecedented full Vcast functionality.

You can pick up the model on Verizon's site for $150, after all of the available discounts. This price is for new customers and customers who are available for upgrades. All users will have to sign or resign a new 2-year contract to get this price.

Verizon has a second television phone on the way, the LG vx9400. The model should be released later this month. The vx9400 has a swivel screen that allows users to watch television from two different angles. The screen size of the vx9400 is much larger than the SCH-a620, which could be why Verizon is releasing the phone a few weeks after.

Here are the markets where the service is available: Chicago, Ill.; Denver and Colorado Springs, Col.; New Orleans, La.; Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; Seattle-Tacoma and Spokane, Wash.; Tucson, Ariz.; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M.; Omaha-Lincoln, Neb.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Norfolk-Richmond, Va.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Palm Springs, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Wichita, Kan.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.

The service is already getting positive reviews from quite a few blogs and sites. It will definitely be a positive when the service reaches all markets.
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