Elgato Tivizen iOS Wi-Fi TV tuner
Freeview on your fondleslab
Review If the pictures of Elgato's Tivizen TV tuner look familiar, it's probably because you read Reg Hardware's review of the similarly named Tizi, from Equinux, back in February.
The reason the two gadgets look the same is because they are the same: a product called Tivizen and made by South Korean company Valups.
Tivizen: built by Valups, controlled by an Elgato app
Tivizen makes several versions for different digital TV technologies - the Freeview-compatible DVB-T version is the one rebadged by Elgato and Tizi seller Equinux - but they all pick up programmes and relay them over a self-hosted 802.11g Wi-Fi network to nearby iOS handhelds.
Tivizen is battery powered so, unlike most telly tuners, it's mobile. That's handy not only for travel but also so you can easily move it to the best position for Freeview reception.
The gadget has a slide-out 270mm telescopic, pivoting antenna. It also sports a mini USB port, used to charge up the removable 1050mAh battery using any USB power source - a computer or your iPhone's AC adaptor, which is what I used.
Recharge the battery by USB
Valups and Elgato claim a 3.5-hour battery life and I'd not cry foul - that's largely what I got. It's not a bad duration considering it's powering both the tuner and the wireless network, but it's clearly not going to last you throughout a typical holiday unless you limit yourself to brief news bulletins.
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1) Too expensive. A USB DTT stick is from £10
2) Since is connects only with WiFi, why only for iOS?
3) Most locations need external aerial. The Telescopic aerial should either be on a connector, or there should be a separate connector.
4) Streaming video on WiFi is very demanding. A direct dongle on the iThing and option for an external aerial would work FAR better, give far better battery life and cost a fraction.
It's basically a $6 DTT chip and a portable WiFi point. It's a nearly pointless shiny toy.
Though Elgato do make the only decent Apple Mac OSX TV tuners. But then for Windows or Linux you can use many more (almost any on Linux).
Why pay £150?
...when you can watch TV on any mobile device through http://www.tvcatchup.com/
Although TV catchup is brilliant, it doesn't really make sense where this product is aimed - i.e. outside of a free/cheap wireless net connection. The 3G iPads would rack up a fairly hefty bill, and wifi iPads would be stuffed.
what the TV licensing people have to say about this.
If you use a USB dongle for freeview, you are covered by your home TV license with a laptop as long as the laptop is running on battery. As soon as you plug it in, you have to be covered by a valid license for the premises you are in.
The important thing appears to be that the receiving device is battery powered.
This thing looks like it is battery powered, so you can plug your laptop into the mains with impunity! I'm sure that there will be debate about this, but this is how I read it.
I also wonder how leakage into adjacent properties not covered by a license will be seen by the TV licensing people.
I'm <10 miles from the transmitter I get freeview from but there's a small amount of terrain blocking a direct line-of-sight to my aerial. I only get 2 of the 6 multiplexes with any reliability. There was a great web site I used to plot the line-of-sight against the intervening terrain but I can't remember the name of it now...
According to the information of www.ukfree.tv the transmission power of the various multiplexes will increase from the 10KW they're all at now to either 50KW or 100KW when the analogue signal is switched off on 30/10/12.
I don't watch much telly so I'm going to wait to see what improvement that makes rather than shell-out for a better aerial now. Maybe then I'll get rid of my 24" CRT TV and get something more befitting the 21st century.