Feeds
70%
virgin_lobster_700TV_tn

Virgin Mobile Lobster 700TV

Pocket TV over digital radio

Boost IT visibility and business value

Apart from the TV and radio application, there are no Virgin-specific applications on the handset, but it comes with the standard set of Windows Mobile 5 utilities. However, a CD in the box adds ClearVue, which is a file viewing package for various Office file formats as well as modem drivers so the phone can act as a dial-up modem for a laptop over Bluetooth.

virgin_lobster_700TV_epg

Which takes us on to the connectivity part of the Lobster 700TV. This is not a 3G handset, so you'll have to rely on GPRS for data connectivity. Nor does it have Wi-Fi. It supports Bluetooth 1.2, but there's no mention of stereo headset support. If you travel abroad a lot you'll be glad to know that the Lobster 700TV is a tri-band GSM handset and works on 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.

So what about the TV functionality? Well, having showed the Lobster 700TV to various colleagues and friends, most though it was OK, but no one would rush out to buy one. To be fair, for watching the news it works quite well, but it's not great for any serious TV watching due to the limited bandwidth available per channel. The biggest problem is fast moving or dark scenes, as you loose a lot of what's going on due to the high level of picture compression used. It's also nigh on impossible to get good reception on the train, and this goes both for TV and Radio.

The DAB radio is excellent though and it's easy to navigate, but again suffered from poor maintained reception on the train.

So far this is more of a novel idea than something with mass-market appeal, however, the solution behind the service is sound and once the L band becomes available, allowing for more bandwidth per channel, then this might just be the way to for mobile TV.

Cost-wise you have to fork out £199 for the Lobster 700TV on pre-pay and that gives you three months of TV viewing for free and after that all channels other than the Beeb's will cost £5 a month. It's free if you get it on a contract for £25 or more a month and then the TV viewing is free for the life of the contract.

Verdict

The Virgin Lobster 700TV is a novel idea which will appeal to some. But the quality of the TV broadcasts just aren't quite good enough. As a phone the Lobster 700TV is comparable to many other Windows Mobile 5 devices, but it doesn't really stand out from the crowd. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

70%
virgin_lobster_700TV_tn

Virgin Mobile Lobster 700TV

Real TV on your mobile, anywhere... as long as you can get reception, of course...
Price: From free on contract or £200 pay as you go RRP

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Giving your old Tesco Hudl to Auntie June? READ THIS FIRST
You can never wipe supermarket slab clean enough
Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all
Chipzilla's 'cool' 14nm part to hit market this year
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.