By: Gigaom
Verizon’s mobile TV goes dark as it pulls the plug on VCast video
Verizon's VCast video service was innovative when it launched in 2005, but the web has changed channels. Now we have YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and other video services that work on multiple devices, platforms and networks. At least football fans still get NFL Mobile on Verizon.

Verizon’s long-time mobile video service, first called VCast and more recently dubbed Verizon Video, is shutting down effective Dec. 15. The mobile operator will continue to offer its video search service, Viewdini, for subscribers using an iPhone, iPad, or on 4G-capable Android device. Viewdini won’t show actual content, but instead will serve as an application to find content to watch on Netflix, Hulu Plus, mSpot and other services.

vcast-onlineVerizon’s paid video services went live in 2005, but at this point, it simply makes sense to pull the plug. There are too many specialized competing services that have a wider choice of content thanks to licensing agreements and support for devices that — how should I put this — aren’t on Verizon’s mobile broadband network. Frankly, video shouldn’t be limited to certain mobile devices, platforms or networks at this point. That’s part of the appeal of services such as Netflix and YouTube: You can enjoy the content anywhere or nearly any device.

To my chagrin, Verizon is still keeping its NFL Mobile service up and running. Football fans on Verizon still have the exclusive ability to pay and watch live football games throughout the season on their smartphone. I’d gladly pay for the service as well, but I’m not currently a Verizon customer.

Speaking of payments, Verizon’s video service was available as part of the Smart Phone App pack bundle. The company says that customers who feel the bundle has diminished value as a result of the video service going away should call in or hit the MyVerizon website to remove the bundle from an account.



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