Service for the Personal Television currently includes 15 channels of nationwide programming, including live broadcasts of CNN, Comedy Central, Disney, and ESPN, and mobile versions of ABC, CBS, and NBC. The company says that its network can accommodate 20 channels, so it still has a little room for growth. You receive six months of free Flo TV service when buy the PTV 350; thereafter, the subscription is $15 per month.
The device's 3.5-inch touchscreen displays broadcasts in 320-by-240-pixel resolution. Measuring 4.4 inches by 3 inches by 0.5 inch and weighing 5.4 ounces, the PTV 350 is slightly larger than a deck of cards. It comes with built-in stereo speakers, a mini headphone jack, and a flip-down adjustable stand for positioning the set at a stable viewing angle. A button on the left side of the screen opens the electronic program guide, which zips through the listings at the swipe of a finger. The built-in antenna helps keep the package neat and tidy.
Watching TV on the go with the PTV 350 was a simple matter. In New York City, neither skyscrapers nor inclement weather interrupted the Flo TV signals. In fact, unlike with competitors such as the forthcoming Mobile Digital TV, I could continue watching programs on the television in elevators, offices, and apartments all over town.
Things went began to go awry a few miles outside the city, however. The Flo TV signal began dropping out as I traveled north on the Hutchinson Parkway out of the Bronx, and it completely quit about 15 miles from midtown Manhattan. Reception kicked back in as I drove in and around Hartford, Connecticut; but there was no service at all in western Massachusetts and Vermont.
Flo TV's terrestrial network is independent of the cellular network and is a broadcast system rather than a two-way communications network. Consequently it won't work on commercial airline flights. On the other hand, the network will never become overloaded either.