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  • Tivit Turns Heads With Free TV For The iPhone

    A lot of cool developments lie ahead for the iPhone - the evidence of which is mounting daily. And as a host of new gadgets and software get the red carpet treatment courtesy of CES, a lot of people are talking about Tivit, which serves as an external TV tuner for the iPhone, your PC, and even a few other smart phones on the market. The Tivit is aiming to take Mobile DTV to the next level by "beaming local TV stations to handhelds" all for the amazing price of zero dollars - minus the cost of the Tivit device itself, of course.

    From the San Francisco Chronicle:

    When television stations nationwide switched to broadcasting exclusively in a digital format last June, the possibilities for live, local TV on-the-go opened up. From netbooks with equipped with Mobile DTV to cell phone prototypes, consumers will soon have a variety of ways to access real-time TV anywhere.
    Free TV will be made possible on the iPhone through the nifty little tuner box. By simply extending the antenna and firing up a corresponding app, you've got TV on your handset even in the absence of internet connectivity. For now, the Tivit only serves us access to about three dozen channels, but that is expected to change once the device hits the market and opportunities for growth materialize.

    The Tivit is compatible with the third-gen iPod Touch, BlackBerry devices with Wi-Fi connectivity (sorry BlackBerry Storm and Tour users) and Motorola Android phones. The Tivit is pretty small, measuring 2 by 3.5 by 0.5-inches thick (about the size of a deck of cards), but it still means lugging around an extra device. Fully charged, the Tivit can run for three hours of continuous TV reception.
    Although the Tivit is the talk of the town (at least in some circles) right now, it could be a little premature to expect the device to take off and follow the hype. A bit bulky, at least when you consider the unwieldy antenna that takes your iPhone back to the cell phones of the early 1990s, the Tivit, nonetheless, could still see considerable success given that there is no paid subscription plan required to use the device and watch TV on your iPhone.

    Without nitpicking, the Tivit is getting good reviews from those who have seen it in action. With reports of Tivit drawing a sharp, clear video, the first affordable devices that provide us with a live TV signal might not necessarily be the most attractive gadgets, but they could still thrive if a quality service is provided. And, according to initial reports, the picture quality from the Tivit seems to be winning people over. The real test, however, will come when the $120 device formally rolls out later this year.

    Image via San Francisco Chronicle
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Tivit Turns Heads With Free TV For The iPhone started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. Anfloyd's Avatar
      Anfloyd -
      TVCatchup iPhone
      live tv already available at the above address.
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Just going to point out:

      You DON'T need a WiFi, 3G or EDGE connection to use this.
      It use the TV signels that are bouncing through the air.
      So NO data is used.

      P.S. It is Illegle in the UK without paying the licence fee to use it.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      I could see this being used for emergency broadcasts or something, but TV in general is kind of lame -- 1/3 to 3/5ths of TV is commercials, and commercials are the most vile of life-sucking activities (followed by watching "The Dark Knight" more than once).

      It's a really cool invention, but if I had to choose between a this and a radio as my means of accessing emergency broadcasts, I would certainly choose radio. Because really, if I'm not wasting my time by playing cheap games I bought on the Appstore, then why in the world did I buy the darn thing? ($125, tax incl, can buy you more apps than you'll ever have time to play).
    1. bigorangekitty's Avatar
      bigorangekitty -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anfloyd View Post
      TVCatchup iPhone
      live tv already available at the above address.
      uk only
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      You yanks must hate ads on your tvs, us British dont have ads, thank you BBC.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      no data use and supposedly the battery life is pretty good. must have...
    1. wookiee2cu's Avatar
      wookiee2cu -
      Another bonus of the slingbox is it can also access the saved programs on your DVR. If you have a Pro model I believe it can access other units you have hooked up like DVD player and what not. I'm running an old SlingBox AV model so not positive about the pro model capabilities. It does eat up data but it's not horrible by any means; the problem is the amount of battery juice it consumes but this is to be expected and will happen with anything you stream for a fair amount of time.

      Best story I have of the slingbox was a few years ago (before the iphone was even released) when I still had my Treo750. Landed in Kansas for Christmas but all of the gates were blocked by other planes. We sat on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for someone to move one of the frickin empty planes sitting at the gates. Wasn't that bad though because I remembered the Cowboys football game just started so I grabbed my phone, fired up the slingplayer app and a few of us sat there for that hour watching the game. I must have told about 7 other people around me what gear they needed to buy in order to get it up and running... some of the wives didn't look to appreciative :-)
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Sling ftw!! I use it daily
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by n00neimp0rtant View Post

      BTW thanks guys for no one calling it the "telly"
      Telly is surely better than that horrible mismatch of languages that is television!
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by willryan42 View Post
      Wouldn't these TV streaming apps use a ton of data? (for those not on an unlimited plan)
      dude you can't get an iphone without the overinflated 30$/month internet plan. what are you talking about?
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by willryan42 View Post
      Wouldn't these TV streaming apps use a ton of data? (for those not on an unlimited plan)
      They don't use cell data, they use the TV signal airwaves flying around your head right now. You know, kinda like how people used to watch local television on those portable TVs with the antennas. (Yeah, I didn't say "antennae." Wanna fight about it?)

      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      I love my slingbox
      Likewise; I just wish I had a need to use it for anything other than streaming recorded King of Queens episodes from my FiOS DVR.
    1. cranie's Avatar
      cranie -
      Quote Originally Posted by chakraj View Post
      I have had my slingbox for years and its free except for the box.I sling on my iphone all the time, Live TV for free. So whats new here?
      No internet or 3G connection needed. It basically is like the handheld TV's but with the newer digital broadcast signals stations are now using.
    1. starjar's Avatar
      starjar -
      free tv is not so good with iphone. This will be alot of distracktion.
    1. cranie's Avatar
      cranie -
      Yes but if we turned our TV 's off we pay nothing it was a sort of "pay by use".
      It's my opinion back when you had only a few channels (BBC) the programming was terrific. However once satellite/cable widespread use came in the quality was crap. Do you still have zero ads on cable?