Previously available through AT&T or Verizon Wireless as a cell phone add-on, Chipmaker Qualcomm’s mobile broadcast television subsidiary FLO TV has officially launched its PTV 350 personal television. This is the smartphone-sized device that Qualcomm and hardware maker HTC unveiled in October. Like many of HTC’s smartphones, the FLO TV PTV 350 includes a 3.5″ capacitive touchscreen, built-in stereo speakers, and a battery which can support 5 hours of continuous mobile broadcast viewing.
FLO TV service is available 24 hours a day and includes programming from Adult Swim Mobile, CBS Mobile, CNBC, Comedy Central, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, MTV, NBC 2Go, and Nickelodeon. Video streams are 320 x 240 QVGA at 15-30 frames per second. Coverage is still mostly concentrated around urban areas, and states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine have no service yet.
The FLO TV Personal Television is available today for $249 through Amazon.com and Best Buy.com, and includes six months of free service to entice customers into checking it out. Of course, in order to receive that free half-year, users must sign a contract which incurs a monthly charge between $8.99 and $15.00. (www.flotv.com)