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SAT, 11AM ET
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FLO TV Personal Television: Product Review

In time for the World Cup which kicks off on June 11, EPL Talk got its hands on a brand-new FLO TV Personal Television. Our goal was to see whether it would be worthwhile for you, the readers, especially for those of you who will be at work or on the road and unable to watch the World Cup games on ESPN and ESPN2 during the tournament.

Watch the above five minute video for a demonstration of how FLO TV works, how it looks and what the quality of the streaming content is like.

The FLO TV Personal Television is a digital handheld device that plays high quality video. The 3.5-inch touchscreen display allows you to scroll through all of the channels available such as ESPN, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Nickelodeon and many other networks. But, most important of all, FLO TV will feature a special dedicated World Cup channel during the tournament which will feature a long list of World Cup games as well as other World Cup content and will re-air matches.

You’re probably wondering how much it costs. It retails for $199 and, if you buy now, includes 12 months of service. After the service expires, it’s $4.99 per month.

The quality of both the hardware and the steaming of the video content is exceptional. The device is compact and designed with round edges. It’s not as beautiful as an Apple iPhone, but the FLO TV Personal Television is slightly bigger but feels just as intimate as an iPhone. It weighs approximately 156 grams. The controls are easy to use. On the side of the device, there’s a USB 2.0 port, mute button, headphone jack (it comes with a in-ear headphones) and volume controls. The device also features a stand on the back which is easily flipped to allow your FLO TV Personal Television to stand out a flat surface. The gadget also has stereo speakers

As for the video quality, it plays in QVGA resolution and plays content over the FLO TV Multicast Network. Basically, it’s live mobile TV in the palm of your hand. The UI is a Flash based platform.

As for the on-screen programming guide, it can be a little sensitive at time and takes a little while to get used to (as can be seen in the above video). But with a little patience, the learning curve is pretty minimal.

The battery life is five hours of viewing time. The maximum standby time is 300 hours. There’s an AC adaptor included in the box.

Also included in the box is a micro USB cable, screen cleaning cloth and quickstart guide. As far as colors, the unit is available in either black or silver.

I’ve been using FLO TV Personal Television over the Memorial Day holiday weekend and it was a big hit in my household. I took the device on a 45-minute car trip with my kids and they were kept entertained as they watched Nickelodeon while I was driving in the car. During the past 48 hours, I’ve flipped through the different channels and have encountered no issues with the signal strength and no issues with the video quality. I would highly recommend you check the coverage area map first before you consider whether to buy a unit.

For those of you, like me, who won’t be able to watch all of the World Cup games live in the comfort of our living room, the FLO TV Personal Television is definitely a gadget you will want to seriously consider. Especially those of you who may be restricted from playing ESPN3.com on your work computer. Or for those of you who are on the road. The device is perfect for people who want to watch World Cup games from the privacy of your own office. But no matter where you’ll go, you’ll definitely find that FLO TV will be a lifesaver.

CONTEST. EPL Talk ran a contest to give away one FLO TV Personal Television to a lucky reader. The winner is announced on EPL Talk’s Facebook page. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

12 Responses to FLO TV Personal Television: Product Review

  1. Sean says:

    I’m really close to pulling the trigger, but I don’t know if I’ll use it much after the World Cup.

    Also, I thought the monthly fee was $14.99?

  2. Bill says:

    The 12 months of service are to four channels (ABC Mobile, CBS Mobile, FOX Mobile, and NBC2Go), and the list price for that package is $4.99/month. The list price for the full subscription package (currently 15 channels) is $14.99/month.

  3. brn442 says:

    I’m sorry, is it a satellite signal?

    • The Gaffer says:

      brn442, good question. I did some research and found out that the FLO TV signal utilizes the retired UHF TV spectrum, which means that the video quality is decent and it ensures that the issues people typically experience with WiFi and cellular reception vanish.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  4. brn442 says:

    Interesting – is this the first salvo in possibly breaking up the cable monopoly perhaps?

  5. The Gaffer says:

    Here’s the TV ad for FLO TV featuring Landon Donovan, which touts all 64 World Cup games being available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tfDa1hJl4I&feature=player_embedded

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  6. Nate says:

    Not trying to be a jerk, but if your going to pay 199 and 15/month for subscription, why not just by a slingbox. You can get it cheaper and have dual receivers.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Hi Nate, no worries, you’re not being a jerk at all. You’re bringing up good objections and questions. The thing is with FLO TV is that the first 12 months of service are included in the $199 price. After that, it’s either $4.95 a month or $15 a month depending on what channels you subscribe to.

      You could buy a Slingbox, but if you have an iPhone and you’re going to stream your Slingbox content to your iPhone, you’re then going to have to buy the Slingbox iPhone app.

      It all depends what soccer fans are trying to accomplish. Slingbox could work well for some people, while FLO TV may work better for others.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  7. Dominic says:

    I would not wast the time or momey on renewing the service.I was lucky to ge service 20 % of the time.

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