One of the questions I get asked the most is how I choose to watch my favorite television programs directly on my iPad. While many options exist, the new Elgato eyetv mobile is one of the most remarkable because it is a DTT (Freeview) TV tuner that connects to your iPad (second or third generation as well as the iPhone 4s!) and receives television signals directly from its telescopic aerial.
Coupled with the free EyeTV mobile app, you can start using your iPad like a portable television screen: pick a channel and start watching!
Oh, and don’t forget… because the signal is being received from the attached telescopic aerial, you do not need an active Internet connection in order to watch TV!
All of the ‘need to have’ features are present and accounted for with this system, including the ability to pause or rewind your program and even record the things you would like to watch later (or again). Now if you are looking for the persuasive and value-added features, I can see two: a built-in browser means you can be surfing the Internet while you watch TV in split-screen and there is even built-in support for those relying on teletext (where available) to display subtitles or the latest news.
While the device may look a little awkward, it is only 34x24x8.6mm in size and 4g in weight –making it very easy to toss in your pocket or bag anytime you aren’t using it.
If the manufacturer is correct, battery life isn’t much of an issue either with the ability to view up to 9-hours of live television on a fully-charged iPad!
The biggest (and only concern) that may come from this device is what will happen if the rumors prove true and Apple makes changes to their dock connector? Fortunately those worries can likely be shelved because it seems just as likely that there will be adapters designed to convert the old to the new.
For those wondering if this device will function where you are located, the manufacturer has confirmed that EyeTV Mobile will work in “Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as any country that broadcasts standard definition MPEG-2 or MPEG-4/H.264 video.” (Check here for a map of countries and their supported DTT systems.)
The Elgato eyetv mobile will be available beginning in September for £89.95 directly from their online store.