Sprint has begun forcing existing phone users to change the way they watch Sprint TV. Recently, Sprint has begun releasing a Java-based viewer for Sprint TV. This was created in an effort to make it easier to access Sprint TV. The Java-based player makes it much easier to access a user’s channels, as well as add new channels to their account.
However, it is inferior in many ways to the existing Media Player in user’s phones. The Media Player accesses the raw 3GPP stream, allowing advanced tasks such as watching TV on the Caller ID display while the phone is closed.
Sprint however, has decided to force the new player down user’s throats. Some users have reported to PhoneNews.com that when they attempted to access Sprint TV over the past few days… that the phone automatically downloads and installs the Java-based player. The affect of this appears to be limited to the Sanyo M1 and Samsung M620 UpStage, however other phones could be affected.
We suggest any user affected should call data support and complains about being denied Sprint TV access via the Media Player. This change does not affect third-party access to the manufacturer Media Player, so we also encourage you to check out Orb as an alternative… with Orb you can plug a USB TV Tuner into your PC, and access your own Live TV for free.
Also of note, newer phones such as the LG MUSIQ also have this change already in-place, so if you prefer watching Sprint TV through the Media Player, avoid newer devices like the MUSIQ. We strongly suggest Sprint give users a choice, preferably by re-locating the Media Player to the Tools menu on most phones.
Update: Users have also confirm another hindered feature with this change: A2DP is disabled. The manufacturer Media Player generally permitted A2DP Stereo Bluetooth Headsets to function while watching Sprint TV. Not so with the Java-based client. This is yet another reason for Sprint to reverse what they have done to user’s phones, and offer the Sprint TV application in the Downloads folder, and on future phones re-locate the Manufacturer Media Player to the Tools folder. Hindering features like this (and hindering existing devices) simply is not acceptable to loyal Sprint customers.
In addition, some users report that they have lost the ability to access widescreen playback. It appears that the Java Sprint TV Client on Sanyo phones is even more watered-down, denying access to fullscreen view.