Hauppauge myTV Pocket Freeview PMP
Media player with built-in digital telly tuner
Review Pocket TVs have thankfully come on a ways since the world went 'er.. what?' at the unveiling of the Sinclair MTV1 back in 1977.
The myTV Player from TV tuner specialist Hauppauge is a fresh attempt to bring you telly on the move, this time wrapping a DVB-T receiver - Freeview, basically - and a PMP into a single, affordable unit.
Hauppauge's myTV: underwhelming design
From the outside, the myTV is underwhelming, having a touch of the old kitchen transistor radio about it. Still, the 200g, 122 x 78 x 18.4mm device feels well built and solid, with the exception of the flip-out plastic stand on the back, which is rather flimsy and can be effortlessly pulled out of its hinge housing.
The 3.6in, 320 x 240 screen certainly won't cause the folk at Archos or Cowon to lose any sleep, but it's crisp, clear and bright enough for the job in hand. Those pixel dimensions will tell you this is a 4:3 ratio display, so 2.4:1 widescreen videos appear just a little on the small side, but this is less of a problem with 16:9 widescreen broadcasts.
Telly reception in west Manchester and north London - the two areas we in which we tested the device - was well up to par, the device's auto tuner quickly locking on to all the available Freeview TV and radio stations. Reception was a little variable depending on exactly where the device was placed but we found we were able to get most of the major channels, most of the time.
The hinge on the built-in aerial leaves a bit to be desired: it's happy to sit either vertically or horizontally but not at points between.
But can the TV Licence van detect it???????
The world may have moved on since 1977
but those fugly buttons seem to have dropped through a timewarp with its other end firmly planted somewhere before the '80s
It won't work in Ireland, New Zealand, Estonia and all other countries just launching Digital TV as you need MPEG4 decoder, not MPEG2 on the DVB-t signal.
Sony fell on this one with the PlayTV (which can in theory do MPEG4 as the PS3 actually does the decoding, but as the PS3 Firmware only does MPEG2 currently for playTV). They announced it for Ireland, New Zealand, Estonia & etc.
320x240 is a bit feeble :(
It would have to record streams as is, so with MPEG2 DTT time would be poor. About twice recording time in MPEG4 DTT countries :-) With a 4Gbyte SD card you would get maybe 2hrs max BBC1 (MPEG2) or 4hrs MPEG4 (not UK), of course it doesn't do MPEG4. Several DTT tuners have MP4/DivX SD card players and none do MPEG4 from tuner.
Record onto SD would be useful
What a tease: a Freeview receiver with an SD card. The tease being the missing link between the two - being able to *record* TV programmes onto SD card so that the device becomes one of the first, if not the first, solid state Personal Video Recorder. And portable too.
Sandisk have the VMate SD/SDHC recorder but it is not portable and is only for analogue video.