Last night party captain Richard Blakeley and I hit the Verizon "Off the Record" party at the Palm. In addition to the free booze, mediocre music, and awkward crowd, there was a big ol' pile of Samsung and LG phones hooked up to the upcoming V CAST Mobile TV service.
Earlier in the night I had a chance to check out the service at the LG table at Digital Lifestyle and was impressed with it. However I started hearing rumors that since the service doesn't launch for a couple months, the video Verizon was demoing was stored locally on the phones. Shenanigans! That turns out not to be true, but what we've been seeing here at CES isn't exactly what consumers will see when they get to try this.
It turns out the 50 to 100 phones demoing the new service at CES are getting their feeds from a broadcast from the MediaFLO offices in San Diego. It's all prerecorded, so it isn't the broadcast TV that customers will see. Will that affect the quality? We aren't sure, but I think it's important to point out that what we're seeing isn't the exact service they're claiming to show off. Check the video above to see a bunch of the phones going to the same channel at the same time. There's some delay between the phones, which may or may not be related to the way the feed is being broadcast. Conspiracy theories, anyone?