FLO TV Personal Television
GO WITH THE FLO For the first time in my history of riding the CTA, I didn’t mind being on the slowest bus ever. Not only did the 156 randomly stop for close to ten minutes, but the onslaught of holiday shoppers and their overstuffed bags left me with barely enough room to breathe. But I remained calm because I had an episode of The Colbert Report and live MSNBC to keep me entertained via the FLO TV Personal Television. The small, 3.5-inch TV from the company behind AT&T Mobile TV and Verizon’s V Cast Mobile TV allows you to watch live television on ten mobile network channels including CBS Mobile, Comedy Central, MSNBC, MTV, NBC 2Go, Fox and Nickelodeon. It’s a very cool device (it costs $250, which includes a six-month subscription; after that, accessing the channels costs $15 per month), but do you really need another portable electronic device to carry around? If you’re a commuter or someone who doesn’t own a TV, yes. The gadget doesn’t require Wi-Fi, so you can use it anywhere your cell phone works, which means you can watch TV on public transportation. If you’re already purchasing a few shows a week on iTunes and watching on your iPod, FLO will save you money in the long run. And if you’re one of those people who only watches Top Chef on Hulu, this connection is much better and the TV is easier to carry around than a laptop. The only downside is that the programming isn’t on demand, but many of the channels offer the same popular shows throughout the day (I caught Glee twice a day and the previous night’s Letterman on my morning commute). You’ll have to deal with commercials on FLO TV, but they’re not so bad. For example, NBC 2Go often airs segments from the Today show in place of commercials. Available at amazon.com and Best Buy (locations around the city, bestbuy.com).