By March 30, 2009

Software Review: SPB TV

80988033949dfaed8be24e8511f74f20 Roughly 6 months ago I took a look at SPB Online. This was a package of several utilities bundled into one. Probably the most impressive of these utilities was a TV streaming program. Now SPB have released a full version of this function. Should you check it out?

The idea of streaming TV directly to your device isn’t a new one. There are a few programs that claim to do this, some more successfully than others. SPB is one of the more respected software houses for the Windows Mobile platform so you should expect some rather solid results.

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The interface of SPB TV is clean and very attractive. Most of this is finger friendly with very few actual controls. As long as you have a continuous connection you’ll be watching TV in a jiffy.

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There are roughly 40 channels to choose from. To be completely honest, there is nothing stellar on this list. Sky News and Nasa were about the only things I found myself tuning the dial for. This is merely standard, free to view, digital television content and you do get what you pay for. Most of the channels are in English, several in Russian, a handful of French, Italian, German and then a few individual other languages.

There is no facility to add television channels from other parties which to some, may have proved useful. The addition of some of the online television channels would have been a nice hook for them. There is a wealth of free to view internet television and webcasts. This sort of material may make for a solid content update in the future. As it stands, from the last time I saw this software the channel count has increased.

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For the content there is a (currently) rather pointless TV Guide. For the English channels I was unable to find a channel that utilised the guide, however I’d imagine it shall remain as the program is upgraded in the future. As more channels are added some will hopefully come complete with TV guides. The guide apparently links in with Outlook to send you a reminder of an upcoming program.

During playback there are few different options such as Volume settings, brightness and a fairly groovy picture in picture still frame of what’s on other channels. In addition to these options is the quality setting. The software allows for some simple switching between quality settings depending on the bandwidth available for you. Low Bandwidth is generally to be geared towards lesser data connections operating at 200+ kbs. Normal bandwidth would likely make better use of a wifi connection as it requires somewhere in the region of 340kbs. Normal bandwidth does operate quite smoothly over a typical HSPDA connection. I was unable to locate any information regarding high bandwidth and if I had a VGA device I’m sure the device would benefit from such an inclusion.

If you have already purchased SPB Online then you will not benefit in any way from this software. It is identical to the feature set of SPB Online’s TV streaming. If you already have a TV streaming client then there probably isn’t too much here that would pull you from alternative software. If you don’t, and right now I’d say that this would be a larger majority, then this is worth checking out. The interface is simple and attractive, the set up is a no brainer and the software is robust. The lack of decent content is this programs only really crutch and we can hope that SPB address this in the near future.

Spb TV is a mobile client, which allows viewing TV channels on Windows phones.
The uniqueness of this application is in its unparalleled usability, and the overall seamless experience of watching TV on a mobile device. Spb TV allows quickly checking the TV guide and previewing shows for each TV channel, without having to quit the current channel. Moreover, the convenient on-screen controls allow adjusting volume, backlight, and more.
Supported platforms:
–       Windows Mobile Professional (former Pocket PC, with touch screen)
–       Windows Mobile Standard (former Windows Smartphone, without touch screen)
** Free and Full Versions **

Spb TV will be published in two versions – free and full.
The free version is not limited in time, but is limited in some features and in the number of public channels available.
The full version allows setting TV show reminders in Outlook straight from the TV guide, managing the channels list (change order and select channels to display in main screen), and gives access to all supported public channels.
** Main Features**
– Unique TV browser with quick channels preview and current & upcoming TV shows for fast channel selection
– Integrated full week’s TV guide
– Ability to set Outlook reminders for TV shows of interested
– Fast channels launch and switching technology
– Picture-in-picture mode (while watching a channel)
– Finger-friendly onscreen “transparent” controls give access to popular TV features during show time
– Full support of hardware buttons controls
– Network bandwidth fluctuations support
– Clever integration of mobile TV functionality with other mobile phone features

More details can be found at the SPB Site here.

Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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