Mobile TV: Couch Potatoes on the Move

The summer months are here, but there's still so much TV to be watched. When you feel like peeling your butt off the sofa, here are some TVs you can take on the go.
By , Last updated on: 12/3/2014

If you're reading this article, chances are that you're a sports fan. Anyone can DVR or download any episode of a serial show, but sports fans need to watch their programming live -- the games lose all their suspense when you know the outcome. So to keep up with the game at the beach, mall, or boring company picnic, we present a few options for your viewing pleasure:

Handheld LCD TVs

These are a modern take on the old brick-sized gadgets with 2-inch, black-and-white CRT screens. Generally, you can find these LCD flatscreens in sizes from seven to 10 inches. Any model that you find for sale at a reputable dealer these days will include a digital tuner as well, so you'll be able to pick up any over-the-air broadcasts within range.

The weaknesses here are short battery lives (the best of the bunch lasts for just 2.5 hours) and signal ranges -- TV signals have a tough time reach remote beaches -- but these handheld gadgets are pretty cheap. Find them for around $80.

Mobile Phones

We don't have any mobile phones linked in our sidebar -- you already own one, and you probably know more about it than we do. But most recent smart phones have the capability to stream live TV. Most carriers have a proprietary TV service, but the third-party Mobi TV service is the most robust. It has tons of channels, including ESPN Mobile, and gets service anywhere that the phone does. There's also a Mobi TV app for the iPhone, and possibly for Android handsets coming soon.

Flo TV

This one has seen some ad tie lately. Flo TV is a mobile TV service available on a few smart phones and most in-car entertainment systems, but their most intriguing product is the PTV 350 personal television. It's a 3.5-inch gadget that exclusively receives the Flo TV service. And when I saw exclusively, I mean that it's a worthless brick without a subscription ($14.99/month). So it's a bit pricey for the limited features -- if you have a smart phone with a data plan, you have no business getting Flo TV. If not, and you really, really need to have TV on the go, you might end up finding this gadget indispensable.

On a more serious note, these TVs also could come in handy during a power outage or, God forbid, a natural disaster. A radio is probably a better option, since they can support longer battery life and tend to get longer-range reception, but a portable TV could work in a disaster zone as a way to keep up with news and weather reports.


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