News Flash! Microsoft has released their new Windows Phones into the market… just in case you somehow missed their barrage of ads, product placements, and billboards to help get the word out. Chances are a few of you out there have either already made the plunge or are about to. So if you do, here are 5 essential Windows Phone apps for TV Addicts, all of which are available now in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace.
Netflix (Free, Requires Netflix Subscription)
I remember what life was like before Netflix. My cable bill was a lot higher, and I watched a lot less TV. Windows Phone 7 was actually the first mobile platform Netflix said would get live streaming support for Netflix Instant Watch, but not the first to actually get it. The general consensus out there is that Netflix on Windows Phone 7 works great, looks great, and is fully featured. If you’re all over Windows Phone 7 and subscribe to Netflix, you’ll never be without something to watch.
SlingPlayer Mobile for Windows Phone ($29.99, Requires Slingbox SOLO or Slingbox PRO-HD)
You read that right. SlingPlayer Mobile is already available for Windows Phone 7. For those not in the know, Slingbox allows you to watch and control your home TV sources (like a cable or satellite box) on any computer or supported mobile phone from anywhere you can get a broadband or 3G Internet connection. “Supported mobile device” is always the hitch with Sling though, who typically a year or more late to nearly every new mobile platform. Windows Phone 7 marks the first time Sling Media is on time, and on target with a pretty decent piece of software.
It’s not an app for playing TV content, but definitely a useful one for TV junkies. IMDB is literally one of the greatest repositories of entertainment information, where you can browse actor bios, movie and show info, see trailers, and more. Plus, it’s actually one of the slickest apps I’ve seen for Windows Phone 7 yet, integrating perfectly with Microsoft’s Metro UI and offering a great user experience.
Virtual Remote: Media Control ($2.99)
For $3, Media Control converts your phone into a virtual remote for your Windows Media Center, iTunes, Media Player Classic, and VLC software. Simply put, it let’s yoru phone controls one of those media apps over a network, letting you control your HTPC with your phone or tracks in iTunes. This one’s actually been around since the old Windows Mobile 6 days, but it looks far more usable on WP7.
If you’re a DirecTV user with a supported DVR, you can search/browse TV listings and set DVR recordings remotely using your phone. No, it won’t stream them like a Slingbox, but it’s really handy in those “Ah crap” moments when you realize you forgot to record THE BIG BANG THEORY.
These 5, of course, are just the tip of the iceberg. The Windows Phone 7 marketplace is expanding daily, now up to 2383 as of this writing. As you download and discover great new TV and entertainment apps for Windows Phone 7, tell me and the rest of the TV addict readers about them in the comments section below.
Satisfy your inner geek while fueling your TV addiction… TV Tech Fix is a column by Matt Whitlock, editor of the TechLore.com Consumer Electronics Community (plus several other gadget-focused community websites), and lover of both technology and TV. In this column, he’ll cover a wide variety of tech topics aimed squarely at the TV addicts of the world – from tips and tricks to help you better your TV experience, to gear recommendations, to the impact technology is having on the TV shows we love.