Equinux Tizi iPhone TV tuner
Aerial views over iOS4 displays
Review There’s no shortage of TV tuners available these days, ranging from cheap and cheerful USB gadgets to more expensive network-enabled devices such as the Slingbox range or Elgato’s Netstream. However, the Tizi is the first TV tuner I’ve seen that is exclusively designed for the iOS platform.
Portable TV: Equinux's Tizi
Tizi TV can only be controlled by the free Tizi.tv app that you download from the App Store within iTunes. Alas, there’s no other software available that will allow it to work with an ordinary Mac or PC.
In hardware terms, the Tizi is a straightforward DVB-T tuner that receives standard-definition Freeview channels. It can’t handle HD channels, but that’s no great loss on the modest screen of an iPhone, or even the 10in screen of an iPad. A little more disappointing is the fact that it doesn’t support BBC ‘red button’ services either.
The glossy black gadget is about the size of a fat credit card, with a 6in extendable aerial on one end and a mini-USB port on the other. That USB port is only used for charging the internal battery, though, as the Tizi uses 802.11g Wi-Fi to transmit the TV signal to your beloved Apple gadgets. And, rather than connecting to an existing Wi-Fi network, the Tizi actually creates its own self-contained Wi-Fi network instead.
The Tizi's mini hotspot can be password protected
This arrangement allows the Tizi to act as a ‘mobile TV hotspot’, so that you can carry it around with you and watch live TV in any location that has decent Freeview reception without the need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot or thrash your 3G tariff. The Tizi will only broadcast to one iOS device at a time, but you can password-protect its wireless network to prevent anyone else stealing EastEnders away from you.
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Baffling limited market
How much harder could it have been to make it OS independent?
Apple decide they don't like it and kill off the app?
It's also way too expensive, and the battery life is not very impressive.
Is the investment worth it given the trashy TV wasteland?
The programming on TV is pretty trashy and apart from the wasted time, is it really worth the investment?
The biggest drawback is a matter of physics - how can a wideband digital TV be received on such a puny antenna - the answer will always be a compromise.
Come to think of it, given this device is only for iOS, iPhans with Lemon 4's are used to antenna problems so it, and the programming, might just fit their bill.
You could use tvcatchup instead for free.
I have often seen speaker wire, and in one case, a hacked up mains power cable connecting the roof antenna wall socket to the device.
Often one end was stripped and shoved into the center pin of the wall socket and the other end was stripped to a longer length and wound around the end of the telescopic antenna (usually the telescopic was snapped off and the wire wrapped around it's stump) and the signal was perfect.
Lesson here, never underestimate the engineering capacity of a bogan (aus) / chav (uk) / redneck (us)