RCR had the opportunity to fiddle around with the live, fully functional DVB-H trial
Hiwire is running in cooperation with T-Mobile in Las Vegas, and if the phrase "ready for prime time" is any indication, it sounds like they liked what they saw. Using an LG U900
for service, RCR ran around Sin City comparing Hiwire's efforts to Verizon's MediaFLO-based VCAST TV -- a service that's been live for much of this year -- and found that the two were pretty much a wash for user experience. Hiwire's 24 channels of mind-numbing entertainment bests VCAST TV's lineup by a wide margin, but VCAST TV took significantly less time to switch between those channels (2 seconds compared to about 5); interestingly, though, VCAST TV seemed to be about 5 seconds delayed behind Hiwire, so it's a tradeoff. Of course, as RCR points out, Hiwire suffers from the same fundamental problem as VCAST TV -- subscribers would be paying for pretty much exactly the same content they're already paying for on their home televisions, albeit on a heck of a lot smaller screen -- so even if the service looks ready for commercial launch, is anyone ready to buy?