Thursday, July 19, 2012

DroidTV Primetime app for KindleFire gets a price rise - is it still worth it?

DroiodTV Primetime is an Android app for Kindle Fire with not-clear pricing and a recent additional price-increase but said to be worth it

Amazon has not highlighted DroidTV Primetime but it is pretty big on Android sites when software is recommended.  It may be that it's a soft competitor to HuluPlus especially and to Netflix also.

While DroidTV Primetime is listed for $8.99, a price already high enough to deter purchase by most who prefer free or very inexpensive apps, it's actually $8.99 for 3 months now.  It's essentially a subscription of course, but it doesn't clearly say so.

  Furthermore, the history is that it started out as $1/mo. not long ago and then recently had become $8.99 for 6 months, which seemed okay for those who had signed up for it, at $1.50 per month then.

  In July, the price quietly changed, from $8.99 for 6 months, to $8.99 for 3 months.
  And nevertheless, people on the whole seem to feel it's still worth it at $3/mo., essentially. Why?

  Netflix and HuluPlus each costs $8.99 per month but
  1. HuluPlus has us watch ads even though we pay Hulu $9/mo. because, it's said (and I believe it) that CURRENT TV shows are expensive to rent and distribute.
  2. Netflix does not, for the most part, present current TV shows except for some educational PBS shows like Frontline, distributed not long after being shown.

  With Netflix and HuluPlus (I subscribe to each), you subscribe directly with those companies and the Android app itself is 'free' to use on the Kindle Fire for accessing of the subscriptions you've paid for outside Amazon.
  With both you can watch only when connected online via WiFi or 3G/4G.

  DroidTVPrimetime, though, is equivalent to a subscription VIA the Android app itself. For this, you can, they say (and users confirm) watch some of your favored TV Shows offline when  you're not connected to WiFi, and the product info on Amazon reads:
  • Watch full HD TV episodes
  • Record episodes to watch later
  • Store videos on your device for anytime viewing

    Product Description
    Watch TV on your mobile device in full HD-480p resolution with DroidTV. Choose from hundreds of episodes of the most popular shows from the major TV networks. Watch whenever you want, wherever you want.

    With DroidTV, you can record and watch individual episodes or automatically record every episode for a show as they become available. Episodes are recorded from the Internet, stored on your own dedicated virtual DVR in our data center, and then transferred to your mobile device for viewing.

    Recorded episodes are played from your phone or tablet’s memory card, not streamed, so they are available anytime, even when you don’t have Internet access. Episodes play immediately, without buffering delays or reduced quality.

    You can store any number of episodes on the virtual DVR. The number of episodes on your mobile device is limited only by available memory on your [built-in] SD card.

Customer reviews
  Because PVRCom LLC has raised prices on this app rather quietly, I'm linking to the customer reviews by NEWEST review first, so that you can get a sense of what the viewer response is, most recently (at the time you access the reviews).

  On forums (Kindle and Android-general ones) I've seen mentions made of HBO shows such as True Blood, Mad Men and Game of Thrones even if you're not subscribed to HBO.  Some of us are hoping for NewsRoom but we have no idea whether they'll make a deal for that.

  There are also CBS shows that aren't found on Hulu.

  After you select shows you want to 'record' and DroidTV creates a virtual DVR [virtual video recorder] on their servers for your choices, it may take a couple of hours to set it in place and then you can start to download them.  Be aware that there is NOT that much space on Kindle Fire storage and just don't select 'too much' at one time.  They won't deliver more than you have space for but it's best never to get to maximum on space storage.

  You'll see a short description for each show and the original air date.  While the resolution is set to 480p, you'll get a somewhat lower-quality image than on the other services in order to keep the file sizes small enough to keep on your device rather than stream via WiFi.

  As for me, I've so far only downloaded its TV shows guide (not much time lately to explore), and the initial download takes a while, so I just set it aside for awhile.  I also kept it plugged in, in case, while it was downloading the TV Guide.  Looks fairly enticing.

  Let me know, if you use it, what your experiences with this are.  From what I've seen in my wanderings through the Android appmosphere, most people are quite happy with what it can do.

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
Kindle Fire  7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
- $99/$139
Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi - $149/$189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189, Free, slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £89
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi, UK - £169
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $109
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. An interesting business model. If the app is free and the subscription is external to the app marketplace, then the app marketplace makes no money. But by making the app itself a subscription within the marketplace, the marketplace gets a cut, which from the consumer perspective only serves to drive up prices.

    1. Blackbeard, true, but so far the driving up of prices has it at just 1/3 the cost of the other two though and this is for Current tv shows.

      Netflix and Hulu provide the streaming as well as the app. For them it's the way for customers to access their offerings on the now lucrative mobile devices (mobile-device buyers seem to use our devices to buy more than those on desktops, I read).

      The DroidTV app is done by a 3rd party somehow getting agreements from those responsible for the shows to include some of their shows in their tv guide. They might have an appeal until they ever get -as- costly as either of the other two. At any rate, they offer more than streaming in that you can download these and watch them offline at your leisure, unlike Netflix and HuluPlus...

    2. Well, the idea is great in theory, but my experience with DroidTV is less than optimal. While I have been able to download and watch a couple of episodes of 'The Walking Dead', I've also experienced a number of times where the download turns out to be a scrambled picture! Therefore, unwatchable. This has also happened for shows from FX. other times, a show downloads but, when I try to watch it, an error message comes up simply saying "Sorry, this video cannot be played" with no explanation. It's turned out to be a waste of money, especially since they make you subscribe separately for each individual device you want to use.

    3. Len, thanks for your personal experience on this. I haven't tried it since early on, though I'm still paying about $3/mo. Since it's costing money, did you contact the app author to let him know? He should give you $-credit and find a way to prevent the problem.

  2. DroidTV is free and offers some of it's shows. It's plenty to test it out. You pay 8.99 per quarter, or sometimes you can get a deal if you email them for a years subscription.
    The full / paid version has all shows accessible. It adds shows constantly. It has EVERY SHOW I AM INTERESTED IN but one. ANd if I'd remember to email them, it would probably be there too.
    They are cheaper than ANY OTHER OPTION, and I've had hulu before.

    I get the shows sent to my phone when they come out, or when I want to recall them> I can jack my phone to the tv or monitor and watch it on a bigger screen via hdmi connections.

    They are SUPER client focused. They have us first, but they are a business and that's that. There have been some techy glitches along the way, but they reconcile them asap and compensate in one way or another.

    I know everyone wants free gold on a silver platter for apps, but the best ones are and should cost money. These folks need to survive to make more for us.

    Right now on the KINDLE Amazon isn't offering it so you'd have to side load it. Apparently Amazon knee jerked in a 3 week period there was some glitching on some programming. The got it fixed and Amazon is just being a butt I guess.

    I'd suggest if you watch tv and pay for Hulu and haven't looked at this DROID TV you shouldn't be driving a vehicle nor heavy equipment.

  3. I love this app. I'm switching to an I pad and I find this is the only app that is making it difficult. I love that it's not streaming and downloads to my phone. The quality is great. Every once in a while I'll get a gliychy episode. But then I just download it again and its just fine.

    Its not on demand like the streaming apps. That took some getting use to. Its like a DVR for your phone.

    I love that I can just open the app and see which shows I like are downloaded. I don't have to remember every week what I'm watching and when the season is on.


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