My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: LIME TV vs Netflix - 101 Dalmations

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

LIME TV vs Netflix - 101 Dalmations


Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But Winter and rough weather

Shakespeare, As You Like It, II, 5

LIME TV just launched with a bang on Monday December 13th 2010 as stated in the article “LIME Mobile TV goes on sale”, published Tuesday, December 14, 2010, The Jamaica Observer. Albeit the price offering for now is basically JA$250 for a seven (7) day subscription, with a complimentary two hundred (200) bonus minutes as per the article “LIME launches Mobile TV....and it's free for now!”, published Friday, December 10, 2010, The Jamaica Observer

John Public is skeptically sniffing at the offerings and bypassing them, mainly because the Telecom Provider refused to take the advice of several of my blog articles, especially the one entitled “LIME TV and Broadcasting - Hunt for Red October” and especially the article entitled “LIME and LIME TV - From Russia With Love” in which I specified Android phones.

You know, like the Samsung Galaxy S and the Motorola Droid series of phones. Alas, Telecom Provider LIME, in their ill-advised wisdom, chose to go with Nokia N77 phones, which like the Blackberry Storm phones they were trying to sell a few months ago, are being sold to clear out old stock of phones that nobody wants but were ordered because they were cheap.

I know this, as not only did I work at Telecom C&W Ltd (now Telecom Provider LIME) as a Network Maintenance Technician, but more specifically I was stationed at the Pembroke/North Exchange, which ironically is the ONLY C&W Exchange that not only houses a NEC NEAX 61E and Nortel DMS 100/200 switch, but has the odd distinction of having a Customer Care Branch attached to it.

Very odd workplace indeed, the “going-on” between the Technicians and the females in Customer Care being the stuff of legend not suitable for my blog, me being the Voice of Reason, Shakespeare et al. Most of the Jamaican Technicians at Telecom Provider LIME, like the Jamaican Technicians at Telecom Provider CLARO, smoke marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) as can be evidenced by visiting the cell sites, most of which have the plant visibly growing.

The Management of Telecom Provider LIME mainly smoke cigars, while the Management of Technicians at CLARO smoke Salvia, so Miley Cyrus is in good company as per my blog article entitled “Salvia, THC and Shared Dreaming - Altered States meets Inception”.

So I know that Sales are NOT going so well, as Telecom Provider LIME, by going with Nokia N77, a rather horrible phone, is effectively offering a Braised Suckling Pig in Honey Sauce served on a garbage bin cover!

The Nokia N77, if you click on the link, albeit sporting a front and rear facing camera with specs one can peruse from the included hyperlink, has no sex appeal, as it is obviously a candy bar phone running proprietary Symbian with a camera squeezed in on the design. Aesthetically unpleasant, it is not a phone worthy of even ten (10) year olds, as its small screen is not good for even Video Calling. Really Telecom Provider LIME??

I do hope that Telecom Provider LIME really, really is not expecting people to buy such measly small screened phones to watch TV, screens so small that a man with a 20/20 vision cannot even make out the lettering when it is playing video. The ZTE-G N290/Aeon as well as the Nokia 5330 are a bit of an improvement in terms of sexiness and the screen size, if you plan to use them only for TV.

Performance-wise, I would have to consult my trusty CNET peeps, who are more versed, having had these phones in hand to test and assess them  - and conveniently make the test availed to all who desire knowledge of the product.

Thus on this basis, I would pass on the Nokia N77, but stick with the ZTE-G N290/Aeon as well as the Nokia 5330, which looks to be more of a hit. Still hoping that Telecom Provider LIME will soon release the app/codec that will require the firmware of any phone it is installed on, be it an Apple iPhone, Blackberry or Google Android smartphone and enable it to receive 3G.

Yes, you read me right!

3G. Telecom Provider LIME does not have a DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast) Network as per the article “The people and ideas behind Mobile TV”, published Friday, November 12, 2010 BY EDWARD TAYLOR, The Jamaica Observer.

Rather, they are using their 3G Network to carry the DVB-H signal to the phone, which then decoded the 3G signal, and translates the DVB-H to Television, DVB-H being a DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) transmission standard as per my blog article entitled “Broadcasting and Digital Switch Over - Back to the Future to compete with LIME TV”.

Supposedly, it can make any phone receive the 3G signal, albeit this would mean that the user would be unable to watch TV while making a call, thus necessitating that the TV feature via the app/codec be turned off in order to watch TV.

Clever idea, if I ever did say so myself! Telecom Provider LIME has saved themselves a bundle of money by using their HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) 3G service that maxes out at 3.4 MBps (about the same as Telecom Provider AT&T 3G Network) to deliver DVB-H encoded Mobile TV, effectively a Hybrid Network or as some may be inclined to call it, a VAS (Value Added Services) within/delivered via another VAS.

Though not unique, the genius of this system is that by allowing the DVB-H to use the 3G Network, or more specifically the 3G antennas, they avoid having to build out a separate DVB-H Network.

The potential advantage of this system is that it allows Telecom Provider LIME to not only afford the Best of Both Worlds as per the “death” of Miley Cyrus alter ego Hannah Montana as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Salvia, THC and Shared Dreaming - Altered States meets Inception” but also, because it is within the 3G envelope, the signal from this Hybrid Network can be received by any phone, once an active app/codec that can decode 3G signaling is downloaded and installed on the target phone.

The only danger of course, it that hackers, on getting wind of this, may wish to download the app/codec and reverse engineer it in order to intercept 3G transmissions and illegally watch TV or worse, gain unauthorized access to Telecom Provider LIME Wireless Broadband 3G Service.

The best way to combat this is allow the app/codec to record the phone instrument IMEI, SIM card IMSI, UDID, if it is an Apple iPhone and the phone number and compare against the registered information for that phone.

If someone hacks the phone and steals the app/codec and tries to reinstall it on another phone, it will be locked out from accessing the service, as the phone instrument IMEI, SIM card IMSI, UDID if it is an Apple iPhone and the phone number would not match the information in the company’s Main Database or the Centralized Database shared between the Big Three (3) Telecom Provider as per my blog article entitled “CLARO vs Digicel - Cross-Network Flat Rate Calling and MNP Cometh”, and block access to the 3G Network.

Making this app/codec available is a necessity, as although the service offer of JA$250 for a seven (7) day subscription is just for now, the fact that it will be made more expensive in the future does not bode well for the products long term viability. This is the lower priced phone, the Nokia N77 has a poor video playback and the higher end smartphones (may I call them that?) ZTE-G N290/Aeon as well as the Nokia 5330 will obviously be priced out of the reach of consumers.

The Recession in the United States of America is slated to last longer as signaled by Senator Barack Obama, President of the United State of America ban on drilling and exploration in the Arctic for the next seven (7) as stated in the article “U.S. Halts Plan to Drill in Eastern Gulf”, published December 1, 2010 by JOHN M. BRODER and CLIFFORD KRAUSS, The New York Times and the possible coming Second Recession with the recent collapse of the Irish economy as per the article “Ireland keeps corporation tax low”, published Friday, November 26, 2010 by Andrew Bushe, The Jamaica Observer.

Cheaper alternatives, such as Netflix and Hulu, now BOTH at sub US$9.99 for a thirty (30) day as per the article “Hulu officially launches pay service, cuts price”, published Wednesday November 17, 2010 4:48 pm ET, Yahoo! News, still challenge the product, necessitating that Telecom Provider LIME pull out the Big Guns in the form of the Set Top box Partnerships as well as the app/codec that can allow the service to be viewed on any phone.

Otherwise, the myriad of free online streaming services will make winter coats out of LIME TV’s premium content service, no matter how cheap, much as was about to happen in the book 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith.
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