The idea of a cellular provider partnering with another company in order to bundle services with mobile plans is nothing new, but T-Mobile has today taken things a step further by announcing its Binge On contract at its Uncarrier X event in Los Angeles. Binge On, despite the atrocious name, is actually quite an interesting idea in that it will allow users to stream from 24 different sources of video without that usage counting against their data cap.
What that means in practice is that a user could stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO and others 24/7 without consuming their data plan, which is a pretty big deal. The most obvious media streaming service, YouTube, is noticeably absent from the list of sources that T-Mobile announced today, but favorites such as Hulu and Netflix will be available.
As with all good things in life, though, there is indeed a catch to be aware of here. While the effectively unlimited mobile streaming of video is a great thing. it turns out that T-Mobile is actually going to limit the quality of the stream being sent over its network to DVD quality. That means those watching content while out and about will be limited to a resolution of 480p, though that limit will obviously not be enforced when a device makes the switch from 4G to WiFi.
As for how to get Binge On applied to your contract, the new addition comes at no extra cost and will apparently be added for every T-Mobile customer with a 3GB or higher data plan on November 20th with no action needed on their part. Binge On can be disabled should the need arise, but the lure of effectively free data will likely be a big one for those who watch video content while on cellular connections.
It’s just a shame that video will be limited to such a low resolution.
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