Rok TV will let you watch F1 live on your phone

Apparently some observers are already calling Rok TV a “game-changer” for mobile TV. It’s free; it works on 286 handsets; and allows you to watch BBC1, BBC2 and E4 in the UK.

Better than the BBC’s iPlayer, for example, you are actually watching live TV on your phone, with only a few seconds delay behind the terrestrial version.

So finally, Formula One motorsport fanatics will be able to watch the racing live on BB1 from 12th March [2010] wherever they are in the UK. Great stuff.

Unlike other supposed news sites, TechEye actually bothered to download the beta version of Rok TV and proved that it genuinely does work. Even though the feed is actually coming over GPRS (2.5G) rather than a full 3G feed!

Our advice, however, would be to sign up for the service using a broadband connexion first. Trying to put in the security code on a small screen is a nightmare.

Once you’ve signed up, it can be downloaded to a really quite impressive range of handsets – not just the infamous iThingey. As Rok says, 286 handsets in total are supported.

Rok’s servers are supposed to send you a text message with the requisite link for your WAP browser. Ours didn’t arrive so we simply fed in the URL ‘‘.

Once you have downloaded and started the app, you have to manually enter the username and password you are  provided. Then, select the appropriate access point for the handset’s mobile internet.

Once you’ve done that, log back onto the Rok TV web site here, and confirm you are a UK resident and TV licence holder. Ensure you get your mobile phone number right, too.

The picture quality on Techeye’s Nokia N95 was quite impressive and if you keep still in a good signal reception area, the picture doesn’t have to keep re-buffering.

Strangely, Rok’s own channel – Rok Tube a cross between its own version of YouTube and You’ve Been Framed – was the worst for re-buffering. E4 was best probably because nobody else was watching it!

The company says that, “Specific higher capacity 3G and Wi-fi streams will be added shortly – along with more free-to-air TV channels.”

At a stroke, Rok has shown that Brits can have the TV they want to watch on their mobile phones without any fancy ‘mobile friendly’ formats being required. Try it while it’s still free!