Lately Channel 7 have been, to put it bluntly, getting their shit together when it comes to the web. They released several apps, a new and improved website, and as of this writing they have just over 68,000 Facebook likes, and almost 50,000 Twitter followers without any giveaways.
Today they released yet another mobile app – WSVN Live.
Unlike the live video stream on WSVN.com, WSVN Live streams almost all the programming you see on WSVN, except anything they air from the FOX network. But with a caveat. You you can only use WSVN Live if you are physically present in either Broward or Miami-Dade counties, because the application uses the GPS in your device to determine your physical location. If you’re anywhere outside of that zone, or if your device can’t pin your location, you will not be able to stream any video. Something WSVN failed to mention during their announcement. The app also doesn’t warn you when you stream video trough your wireless connection, for those on AT&T and Verizon this could get really expensive, really fast.
Other than that, the app is very simple, and straight forward. Actually, WSVN Live is the station-branded version of Syncbak who designed the app to list all stations in your location that broadcast live via its service so when you launch WSVN Live it sends you to a ‘Channels’ tab, which in this case would only show you WSVN. In the Syncbak version it would show all stations that use the service and their On Demand content. For now WSVN is the only one in the Miami market.
Tap on WSVN and you go to a screen where you can see what is streaming now, what comes up next, set a reminder to be alerted before a program you want to watch is about to come on. You can browse on-air schedule by tapping the calendar icon, and the On Demand content by tapping the play icon.
Tap on a show’s name and you can set a reminder for when it’s about to come on so you can watch it live
You cannot pause and rewind the live stream, but you can replay already aired content trough browsing the On Demand section. I don’t know how far back the archives would normally go, but as of now there are two days worth of recorded WSVN newscasts and Deco Drive from tonight. No other programming WSVN airs is available on demand, most likely due to content rights.
The quality of the video stream is good, at least once the app adjusts the speed, but pausing and seeking trough a video recording can be very hit and miss. While testing the app I accidentally tapped on rewind and for at least a minute the screen stayed frozen on a shot of Belkys Nerey while I could hear the voice of Phil Ferro delivering the 6pm forecast.
Overall WSVN Live isn’t a bad app for what it does, that is if you don’t mind watching video on your phone or tablet. And if your phone can easily lock your GPS location. And since you can’t pause and rewind live TV, it’s only advantage over the WSVN.com live stream is being able to watch the rest of what WSVN airs in real-time for free, with all the ads, and the recorded content.
I would be a lot more impressed if they released this in Roku, GoogleTV, or even smart TV app flavors.