Much of the iPad's success is it's ability to be all things to all people. Everything from graphic design, gaming, movie editing or playing music, as you already know “there's an app for that”. Despite all this, the one glaringly obvious task that has – until now – eluded it, is watching live TV – enter Tivizen from Elgato.
Elgato Tivizen: Set Up
Essentially a portable Freeview receiver with a built in Wi-Fi hotspot, simply 'log on', pull out the antenna and the Tivizen receives DVB-T signals from the ether and and slings them directly to your iPad via it’s own Wi-Fi connection. Programmes are viewed via a dedicated (Free) Tivizen player app.
The device itself is sleek looking and slightly smaller than a pack of cards, vaguely resembling an Mp3 player. The telescopic ariel is a bit delicate but can be hidden away when not in use, three LEDs provide feedback about battery, signal and Wi-Fi activity.
Elgato Tivizen: Controls
After a one time scan for channels (unless you change location) you're up and running, and programmes look amazing on the iPad's generous display, a real delight to watch. The number of channels will vary depending on your location and signal, but we got an average of 40 in London, including some Radio stations.
Swiping left or right during playback satisfyingly changes channels, or go directly via a menu if you prefer. Touch to reveal on-screen controls to pause, record, fast-forward or rewind live TV, access audio settings, and go full screen. Recording is a one button affair and programmes appear in the dedicated folder for later viewing, complete with show summary, timestamp, and genre. The OSD helpfully has 'now and next' information, plus icons for the Tivizen's battery and signal strength. Hold your iPad portrait and the show rotates and resizes to follow, pressing the full-screen button now produces some interesting results!
Elgato Tivizen: Vedict
The Tivizen only allows one iDevice to connect at a time, sadly meaning two iPads can't watch together, and during a jaunt down the motorway reception quality did deteriorate slightly, but with a reported 3.5 hours of TV per charge, it's still an excellent option for sprucing up long journeys.
In the box is a copy of Eye TV 3 for Mac, for viewing TV on your desktop, or scheduling recordings for later exporting to your iPad. Windows users get a copy of TerraTec Home Cinema.
The Tivizen really does blow you away with its elegant implementation, and ease of use, making it an essential accessory for media hungry iPad owners.
Elgato Tivizen launch date: Out now from Elgato
Elgato Tivizen price: £149