Tech failures: FLO’s mobile TV doesn’t go far in Chico

FLO TV unavailable
I haven’t been convinced that mobile television will catch on in the United States, but the tech demo for FLO TV doesn’t help sell the service for Chicoans.

Looking at the FLO display at a local discount store, one round purple sticker stood out — “Service not available in this area.” With one stroke, FLO undermines its key feature — the ability to watch TV on the go (channels include mobile versions of NBC, FOX, Adult Swim and others). Without a signal, you’re paying $200 for a small box that doesn’t do anything. In addition, there’s a $5/mo. subscription fee.

The sales clerk noted the service is unavailable, but also said a friend was able to get a signal in part of town. The coverage map shows some areas south of town and in the foothills can get a signal from the Yuba City area. While there appears to be decent coverage in metropolitan areas, there’s currently no FLO service between Yuba City and Eugene, Ore.

Although mobile TV appears to be popular in other countries, I think
those services are free over-the-air signals and not a subscription

Failed tech demos aside, I think people will stick with streaming video sites like YouTube or whatever sites they can reach over a regular broadband cell connection. The same goes for Sirius XM’s portable TV offering via satellite — the range has to be better than for FLO, but its similar monthly fee for a limited service is probably a dealbreaker.