BitBop – Review

Streaming TV and Movies over 3G or Wi-Fi to your phone is without a doubt one of the cooler capabilities of a modern smart-phone. There are several well known applications for Windows Phones that provide this functionality through different methods. Netflix connects to the popular subscription service and streams video to your device while Sling Player streams video directly from your home TV connection.

A less well-known service that offers a Windows Phone application is BitBop. As an up-and-coming competitor to Hulu Plus BitBop offers streaming and downloadable content to your smart-phone. Our review of BitBop is after the jump.

Option to stream or download content, current tv shows.
Service cost is pretty high, app has some kinks to work out.

TVShow with Live Tile is a go in the Marketplace

The other day we mentioned about Rudy Hyun and his TVShow app which was coded in 30 hours. That was the free "lite" version and we were anxiously awaiting his $0.99 paid one with a Live Tile and more features. Well, as you can guess it's here and it rocks.

As you can see in the above pic, I have 3 upcoming shows with the next one being 'Community' (aka the best show on TV right now). The Live Tile update is practically instant after you add your shows (remember to hold down/press to mark all previous episodes as "seen"). What can we say? We're impressed and we highly recommend it. Outstanding work by the developer.

Rudy also lets us know that he already submitted the next update, which should be out in a few days. That willll bring the following features:

  • support utf-8 subtitles
  • rate episodes
  • reorder tv show
  • speed up the launch
  • Fix the silverlight toolkit bug (the application may close when we added an tvshow)
  • 'press and hold" on a tv show marks all episodes as seen.
  • and a feature requested by US citizen for US tv shows: the possibility to have first aired datetime (Eastern time) or your local aired time (+3 for pacific time zone, +1 for mountain time zone)

Sounds good to us. Grab the "lite" version here and the new paid one here in the Marketplace.

TVShow Lite - coded in 30 hours and now available

One month ago we covered the story of developer Rudy Huyn--he was looking for a challenge: code a Windows Phone 7 app in 30 hours (including sleep), all he needed was an idea. One idea came up and 'TVShow' was born.

TVShow is one of those TV scheduling apps of which there are plenty in the Marketplace. We know because we've tried a lot and sorry to say, have not been that impressed. However, TVShow Lite is what we wanted and we have to give it some high praise: nice, highly legible UI, fast load times and logical layout make this TV schedule app our new favorite.

The app is "lite" meaning free and lacking features of which the paid version will fulfill. We're not sure when that version will be released but we want it: push notifications to alert you your show is coming up, device caching of images to allow faster loading times, "...retrieve episode subtitles, use your phone as a remote screen for subtitles, translation feature for recaps and summaries". Yeah, we want that. So hurry up Rudy!

Till then, let the free version tide you over. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

SlingPlayer for Windows Phone 7 - Review


The whole point of owning a smartphone is to maintain a constant connection with the things that are important to you. Your calendar, email, pictures, documents, and music are all right at your fingertips with a Windows Phone.

We’ve talked about Slingboxes and their associated apps before; but with Windows Phone 7 our devices are much more media-centric and offer better performance, making something like Sling Player something worth considering.

Works well with SlingBox, simple UI.
Defaults to low quality video. Expensive app, expensive hardware.

LG Quantum conveniently appears on "Human Target"

We haven't seen any Windows Phone product placements in awhile, so it was nice to see it play a tiny, but humorous role the other night on "Human Target (Ep 11 of Season 2).

Not much else to say really except keep it up Microsoft, you need the exposure.

You can watch the video clip here on YouTube as Warner Bros ain't letting us embed it (the nerve!).

TV's Hawaii Five-O focuses on WP7 camera + new AT&T commercial [Video]

In what is becoming a regular occurrence these days, Windows Phone 7 got some major screen time on tonight's Hawaii Five-O (CBS).

Dano basically sneaks into the "bad guy's" house and breaks out his LG Optimus 7 to snap some photos as evidence. He then "shares" them with his partner (who looks to be using an iPhone; cat fight anyone?). Overall, a nice demonstration of the WP7 camera system, even if it annoyingly resets your settings after each launch.

Bonus/Hey that's no coincidence: Microsoft and AT&T premiered their new commercial tonight which also features the camera function of WP7. How odd! (New commercial after the break).

Previous coverage of WP7 on TV: 'Castle', 'Bones', 'Hawaii Five-0' & 'The Vampire Diaries'; Thanks, Joe T., for the tip!

TV: Castle's Nathan Fillion digs Windows Phone 7 [Video]

Yup, another week another product placement for Windows Phone 7. It's almost getting ridiculous at this point probably since we're documenting every instance. But we imagine for public perception, this will go a long way...

Last night on the show 'Castle', Richard Castle (the super awesome Nathan Fillion) pulls out his LG device in what has to be one of the more obvious product demos on TV. Ever. But still, it was a cool demo of Bing voice search, something we haven't seen yet on these ubiquitous TV spots. We also went the extra mile this time, getting the video clip you see above (you're welcome!).

See previous WP7 product placements: 'Bones', 'Hawaii Five-0' & 'The Vampire Diaries'

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Windows Phone 7 helped solve a mystery on 'Bones' last night

Okay, not really. But WP7 did get another product placement last night when Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan received an important text message during an interrogation.

Once again, it was LG that received the honor of placement, much like last week on The Vampire Diaries and earlier this week on Hawaii Five-0. We're not sure how they get all the promo spots, but hey, seems to work.

What show will our trusty new OS appear on next? Stay tuned!

Thanks, Jamie P, for the tip

Hawaii Five-O just Bings it: WP7 makes another TV appearance

So last night on CBS, the new series (of an old series) Hawaii Five-O had a snazzy Windows Phone 7 placement. At about 18 minutes in to the show, two of the characters are in a museum. The male character suggests that the art piece was an original Clifton Bowles, the female doesn't believe him (they never do, amirite?), so he tells her to "Bing it!".

The female lead then pulls out an LG Optimus 7 and proceeds to Bing the gentleman's name. After this the show evidently went to commercial, where not one but reportedly two ads appeared. Not bad Microsoft, not bad.

Things I learned: Hawaii Five-O has a lot of pretty girls in it and I'm glad I'm vegetarian.

Thanks, Joe C & Tim O., for the tip!

Slingplayer now live in Marketplace, costs $29.99

Guess this is a big day, as Slingplayer is now available too in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The app, first demoed a few weeks ago (see the video after the break, if you need to convince yourself), promised resolution "4 times that of previous Windows Mobile devices" which sounds impressive.

The downside is the price, which we all knew was coming: $29.99. That's not unusual for Sling but it's still a bit pricey for an app for TV. But hey, you need it, you now got it. Hit us up in comments and let us know how it works!

Thanks, @Avi_Franchise, for the tip!

Review: SPB TV 2.0

SPB is a class act among Windows Mobile developers. Their applications such as SPB Mobile Shell and SPB Backup are some of the best selling and most well known applications available for Windows Mobile.

Originally released in March of 2009, SPB TV recently made the jump to version 2. For the rundown on new and improved features, hit the jump.

SPB TV 2.0 is out; now free

For those of you who like free things, especially when they used to cost money then SPB will make your day. They upgraded their SPB TV software to 2.0 and in turn, made it freeware (previously it was $14.99). See a review of the older version here.

Well, it does play a mini-ad before your program starts, so more like a Hulu-method sans the cool content. A lot of it is local stations and some web-based things, no major networks, so this isn't a Hulu/Slingbox replacement by any means.

Other additions to 2.0 include

  • Video-on-Demand channels added
  • High quality h264/AVC streams supported
  • Hardware video acceleration support improved
  • Advertising added into opening screen
  • Backlight supported for new devices
  • Other bugfixes

We can't say it doesn't work well and it that is serves as a great "I'm bored, need something to do while I wait for the dentist" program, so we say go for it, after all it won't cost you anything.

It's available in touchscreen and non-touchscreen versions and you can grab it right here; unfortunately it's not available yet in the Marketplace.

Windows phone TV ad - effective or creepy?

We're a little on the fence here. On one had, it's good to see a marketing push behind Windows phones (and by proxy, Windows Mobile 6.5). What good is the rebranding and operating system upgrade if you don't tell anybody about it?

On the other hand, we're not sure that having your "Windows stuff" following you around is the most effective way of getting the point across. Not necessarily as fun as we'd like to see, or sophisticated, for that matter. It's kinda straddling the two, and not in a good way. But, to each his own, and we doubt this will be the last advert we see regarding Windows phones. gcdtech via Engadget Mobile

What do you think about this Windows phone commercial?(trends)

Mobile March Madness

With March Madness fully underway, many of us are looking for ways to stay up-to-date with what is happening in the world of college basketball. Here is a look at some of the ways you can use your Windows Mobile phone towards that end.

  • Web browser - Many of the major names in sports news (ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sportsline, etc.) have made improvements to their mobile websites. My suggestion is try them all, see which one you like the most.
  • Text messages/Email - Most of the sites mentioned above offer some sort of alert service. The advantage of this obviously is that if you don

Great Video Streaming Link Site

zbop, bringer of Full YouTube on Windows Mobile software, posts up a link in our forums. And what great link it is:, which is a ginormous link list of sites that stream video for free over the web. The list is broken down by category and features some relatively big heavy-hitters that I'd previously assumed I would need to buy mobiTV to get.

You'll want 3G or WiFi for most of this stuff - it's mainly streaming WMV and thus should work on pretty much any Windows Mobile smartphone.

My DirecTV package doesn't include Chess TV, so I'm glad zbop has shared this site with us all. Thanks!

Read: Watch television and videos on your mobile & PDA