DroidWars: Television

App: SPB TV by SPB

Price: $9.95

Features: Multilingual, worldwide, sometimes live television from a very long list of networks.

Tested: 03/27/10, Nexus One | Version: 1.0

spb-tv-pipAt $9.95, SPB TV is the priciest app mentioned in this DroidWars, aside from those that require monthly payments. WIthin seconds of installing the program, it is apparent that SPB intends to provide its customers with more than they bargained for. There is so much content, from so many channels, from so many countries, spanning so many topics, that I challenge you to become bored with the app. I CHALLENGE YOU!

Most, if not all, of the content streams live and the audio/visual quality is more than acceptable. When my connection is especially quick, I would classify it as very good. Streaming over 3G, I get the sensation that I’m watching an old VHS tape, and there probably are instances where I am. Just because I’m watching television live as it is broadcast from the other side of the world doesn’t mean it’s new. But there is plenty of American news from major local affiliates and national sources like C-SPAN.

I don’t have any children, so I can’t attest to the app’s kid-friendliness, but there certainly is plenty of content for children: cartoons, NASA’s educational programming, and other shows for young ones sit amongst religious stations, political talk shows, and financial updates. So, you know – maybe tap the episode you want to play before handing the phone over to junior. Or, use the “Reorder Channels” feature to take certain sources out of your media list, whether you want to get rid of the children’s content or can’t stand religious shows. There’s plenty to choose from, and you may as well tailor the app to your tastes. Forget about looking for a pause button though, because it isn’t there.

I do wish I could create a feed, or favorite certain shows, like I can with TV.com, but while SPB falls short in giving the user tools to organize content, they offer useful, sometimes crazy features in return, like independent volume and brightness settings, manual changing of stream quality, and picture-in-picture viewing. What? Yeah, seriously.



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