TMC-RDS Traffic vs. TomTom Traffic

Discussion in 'TomTom Services' started by Michael Quinlan, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Michael Quinlan

    Michael Quinlan

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Central NJ
    TomTom Model(s):
    Go 920
    I've seen several threads discussing the pros and cons of each of these traffic services, but... here goes...

    I live in the NY area, and for various reasons I jumped from the Garmin ship and climbed aboad the TomTom (I bought a 920T). I can say that TMC reception with the Garmin and TomTom comes and goes at the drop of a hat. The problems that exist with Garmin's implementation also exist with TomTom's - spotty reception, limited roadway coverage, incorrect delay information (almost always 1 minute per incident with Garmin), significant incidents missing entirely.

    To those looking to blame someone for poor, little, or no traffic data, despite an apparently working (green dot) TMC-RDS receiver, I say the blame lies squarely with ClearChannel (the data provider/broadcaster). The content and transmission of the traffic data is soley ClearChannel's responsibility. Your TomTom can only act on the data it receives. Garbage in, garbage out.

    Disappointed (though not surprised) by TMC reception on my 920T, I called TomTom and told them that although the hardware seems to function properly (it works better and I get data when I get closer to NYC), I have poor TMC reception in my area and that I am considering returning my 920T to my retailer and purchasing a 920 and a TomTom Traffic subscription. So I asked if they had a free trial of TomTom Traffic that I could use with my existing 920T, so I could make an informed decision before going to back to the retailer. Much to my surprise they set me up with a ONE YEAR subscription to TomTom Traffic at no charge. They also told me that if I do end up replacing the 920T with a 920, I can should call them to have the new device associated with my account so that the subscription will continue on the new device. How cool is that!?

    I had the opportunity to sit at my desk today during rush hour and play with my new traffic subscription. I can't find the words to express how much TomTom Traffic is better than using the TMC-RDS Receiver. hat said, here are some words:
    • Delivery is almost instantaneous (even on my pathetically slow iDEN data connection)
    • The data covers a much broader geographic area
    • Many more roads are included
    • Delay times appear reasonable
    Before I dump my Garmin for good I'm going to try to do a side-by-side comparison. But to do this I have to be in an area where the Garmin actually works.

    One thing that appears odd though is that TomTom offers the option to minimize delays, as opposed to minimizing actual travel time. I'm not sure if this is just semantics, or of they are actually minimizing time spent in traffic, even if it makes the entire trip take longer than it would if I sat in the traffic.

    Sorry if any or all of this is old news, but I was so amazed at the difference in quality that I just HAD to post.
     
    Michael Quinlan, Apr 17, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Michael Quinlan

    Timon

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Tustin, CA USA
    TomTom Model(s):
    GO920T
    This is why I wish that TT would release a GPRS receiver, either bluetooth (best way) or use the same connection that the TMC receiver uses, so we would not have to use our cell phones. I'd be happy to pay $10 a month for service.
     
    Timon, Apr 17, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Michael Quinlan

    Michael Quinlan

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Central NJ
    TomTom Model(s):
    Go 920
    TT's HD Traffic works that way... with a SIM card and receiver built into the GPS unit. It looks like it's quite a ways down the road for the US though.

    My Nextel service includes unlimited data, so there's no additional cost for me to get TomTom Traffic over GPRS. The only down side is that my phone can't do data and voice and data at the same time, so while I'm receiving traffic updates I can't receive incoming calls, and I can't get traffic updates if I'm on the phone.

    I think Boost Mobile (Nextel pre-paid) phones can be used for tethered data connections without any per-minute charges. But right now, the only phones they offer under their "paygo" plans don't support bluetooth. The older i885 and i875 models do though. With their auto-reboost arrangement you could actually pay as little as $5 per month if you use less than 25 voice minutes per month. I may end up looking into this if the voice/data conflict becomes too much of an issue.
     
    Michael Quinlan, Apr 17, 2008
    #3
  4. Michael Quinlan

    Timon

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Tustin, CA USA
    TomTom Model(s):
    GO920T
    Do you have any information on how to set it up?
     
    Timon, Apr 17, 2008
    #4
  5. Michael Quinlan

    Michael Quinlan

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Central NJ
    TomTom Model(s):
    Go 920
    You mean a Boost Mobile phone? It should be the same as the setup I listed in the sticky for my Nextel i580. Don't count on it working though, because I don't know if it will for sure. I may have an opportunity to find out in the next few weeks. If my wife ends up getting a Boost Mobile phone, I can put the SIM in my phone and test it that way. Even if that works though, there is still the obstacle that none of the currently offered Boost Mobile phones support bluetooth (at least not the ones you can use with a real cheap plan).

    If you were asking something else, let me know.
     
    Michael Quinlan, Apr 17, 2008
    #5
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.