First Look: FLO TV
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

First Look: FLO TV

2:51 /

For television fanatics, FLO TV delivers a constant stream of subscription TV channels packed into a pocket-size, touch-screen device.

>> Hey, I'm Donald Bell for cnet.com, and today you're getting a first look at the FLO TV portable television. This a pocket-sized video player with a 3.5-inch touch screen made specifically for tuning in FLO's own mobile television signal. It doesn't use Wi-Fi or a cellular connection but actually gets a signal over part of the old UHS spectrum. There's a power button on the top along with a rechargeable battery indicator and on the side is a headphone jack, volume control, mute button, and a micro-USB input for recharging with the included power adapter. There are two speakers built into the back here along with a kickstand for hands-free viewing. The device costs $199 which includes six months of FLO subscription television right out of the box. After six months you'll need to pay $14.99 a month to continue service. Otherwise, the device is pretty much useless. There's no internal memory. You can't load on your own content. There's no FM tuner. It is purely a device for tuning in FLO subscription TV service. Fortunately, the FLO TV service is pretty cool. You get around 16 channels ranging for ESPN and Fox news, to MTV and Comedy Central. Pressing the one button on the front brings up a channel guide where you can flip through the broadcast and select the one you want to watch or schedule a reminder for an upcoming show. There's no pause button, no recording, and no on-demand services here. You just tune in and see what you get. For better or for worse, the channels aren't identical to the live broadcast you'd see on TV. Mostly, you're getting the best of what one channel has to offer but repurposed for the daytime. For example, it's around three o'clock here, and we have the Early Show playing on CBS and American Dad playing on Fox. Most of the content plays with commercials. However, the breaks seem shorter and typically advertise only other shows. So why buy one? It's a tough question, especially with an 8GB iPod Touch out there for $199 with ala cart commercial-free TV shows and literally hundreds of other uses. Really, it comes down to how much do you love TV, and how much free time do you need to kill? For $15 a month and always on stream with interesting TV content you can take anywhere, can eat up a whole lot of down time that $15 in the iTunes store just can't match. Still, I'm not crazy about the idea this is a single purpose device. For $200 it needs to do more stuff, the video quality needs to be better, and the screen's viewing angles could use an improvement too. The company's already announced plans to bring their service to the iPhone and iPod Touch this year which I think makes a whole lot more sense than a dedicated device. For cnet.com I'm Donald Bell and this was a first look at the FLO TV.

New releases

Amazon Fire Phone charts new t...
3:50 July 22, 2014
3D-like visuals and a clever scanning app heat up the Fire Phone, though Android lovers may be lukewarm.
Play video
Inside Scoop: Mixed results for...
3:25 July 22, 2014
Despite lukewarm sales figures, Apple posted a profit for its third quarter. CNET Senior Writer Shara Tibken...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 022: Nvidia's Shield...
24:28 July 22, 2014
Today, we're talking about whether or not Nvidia's new Shield tablet has a chance in such a competitive space,...
Play video
Use Airplane mode to charge your...
1:55 July 22, 2014
Is it a fact or fiction that enabling Airplane mode on your device will result in a faster charge? CNET's...
Play video
Nvidia unveils Shield Tablet for...
2:55 July 22, 2014
Mobile gaming continues to evolve with Nvidia's latest gaming tablet, Netflix tests a privacy mode, and the...
Play video
LG Optimus L70 serves up 4G and...
1:29 July 22, 2014
Available on prepaid carrier MetroPCS, the Optimus L70 features a dual-core processor, a 4.5-inch screen,...
Play video
The 404 1,529: Where we can't help...
40:22 July 22, 2014
A promotional tweet with #twitterpurge shows why we can't have nice things, Sony brings back the Walkman in...
Play video
A waterproof phone that doesn't...
3:26 July 21, 2014
The $149.99 Kyocera Hydro Icon is waterproof, but inconsistent call quality holds it back.
Play video
 

Video discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre