Monday, July 22, 2013

Bookmark and Share

BTN2Go Now Includes Comcast XFINITY Support

This day has been a long time coming, but it is apparently finally here. The BTN2Go app, the mobile streaming app created by the Big Ten Network, now includes live video support for Comcast XFINITY subscribers. This inclusion should be platform wide, meaning the Comcast XFINITY login should be available on Android and iOS devices.

For some users of the app, including myself, the Comcast login may be difficult to find, as it is located at the bottom of the alphabetical list (maybe for XFINITY?). The logo for the service also, rather than being either the Comcast or XFINITY logo, actually reads "Beta," so this is likely an inclusion in its infancy.

Streaming seems to operate fine on my DROID DNA on Verizon, and I know I'll be using this thing like crazy at tailgates during football season and in the office for basketball.

For those frustrated users who deleted the BTN2Go app in the past, here's a link to the Android version in the Google Play Store. Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bookmark and Share

Similicious - A short-term Canadian vacation SIM option

Similicious, a Canadian MVNO, has been providing low-cost, pre-paid SIM cards for international travelers in Canada for a few months now. They had some excellent bargains as of the middle of June, with their best likely being a 1GB offering for $25CAD + $10 deposit (for overages) with overage MBs costing only $0.015 per megabyte. These data-only plans seemed like excellent bargains, especially if you could make wi-fi outgoing calls on your iOS or Android device. These data plans include LTE in addition to HSPA.

Similicious has been a well kept secret across the border, despite their active Facebook and Twitter accounts. Those data package prices were really outstanding, and I was planning on getting a 1GB card for an upcoming trip of mine in early July.

Unfortunately, I was a bit late to the party. Within the last week or so, Similicious has changed their plans, and increased some of their rates. My beautiful 1GB SIM went up from $25CAD + $10 refundable deposit to $45CAD (no deposit), an 80% price jump. Additionally, overage charges went up, albeit marginally, to $0.0175 per additional MB. A new, lower plan of 500MB is now available for $30CAD (no deposit), but their higher tier plans of 2GB and 5GB (data only) have now been removed altogether.

I contacted a representative from Similicious regarding the change. I was told that the network provider (not sure who, but clearly a nationwide provider as coverage seems to be very broad) basically mandated these increases, and Similicious is actively working to get their old plans/prices back.

In the end, the responses from Similicious came so quickly, and thoughtfully, that I will go with them on my trip despite the current changes. I will go for the 500MB plan ($0.025 per additional MB), and will just accept and pay overage charges if necessary.

Similicious could be a real contender if they can keep those prices low, but I will recommend their services to friends and family if all goes well.

UPDATE: I checked the site this morning, and am saddened to announce that prices have been raised even further. All available plans have now gone up another $10CAD, which would raise the 500MB plan, if you were to order today, to about $40CAD. Additionally, shipping charges for the SIMs have gone up considerably, now $20CAD for U.S. delivery ($10CAD Canadian delivery), up from only $2CAD a week ago.

UPDATE 2: The 500MB plan appears to be back at $30CAD, with the $2CAD delivery option available again for those who plan ahead for shipping. I believe that the Similicious service worked well on my trip, and would recommend this specific plan for those travelling for a week. The 1GB plan remains at $55CAD, which I believe is a bit pricey for that amount of service.