QuickPlay Media, a provider of content management for mobile TV services, on Monday introduced a free video streaming service for Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones.
The new service, called VideoStreams, serves up music videos, comedy, horoscopes, and extreme sports, among other content, to BlackBerry users in the United States and Canada. The video is streamed over networks that use EV-DO, a third-generation cellular technology deployed by carriers including Sprint, Bell Mobility, Telus Mobility, and Alltel Wireless.
VideoStreams can be downloaded wirelessly via a smartphone Web browser and videos are streamed to the phone, so the video viewing experience is quicker and doesn't take up storage space like downloaded video, according to QuickPlay. The service comes with an additional "send to a friend" feature for sharing videos with others.
QuickPlay is offering the service for free, but subscribers are still subject to wireless data usage charges that vary among the different carriers. VideoStreams is initially available on the BlackBerry Pearl 8130. QuickPlay said it plans to add support for other BlackBerry models worldwide.
"BlackBerry smartphones are attracting a wider range of mobile customers who want to use more personal applications and entertainment services," said Jeff McDowell, VP of global alliances at RIM, in a statement.
BlackBerrys were initially designed for an enterprise audience with support for important features like business applications, "push" e-mail, and device management and security. But with introduction of more consumer models like the BlackBerry Pearl and the BlackBerry Curve, as well as added multimedia, 3G, and Wi-Fi support, application developers now have a lot more possibilities.
In a related development, Sling Media, a subsidiary of EchoStar Holding, earlier this month introduced a new application that beams cable or satellite television, digital video recordings, and music to BlackBerry smartphones. SlingPlayer Mobile was originally introduced for smartphones running Windows Mobile, Palm OS, and Symbian S60, but has been a top request by BlackBerry users, according to Sling Media. SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry will become available later this year.