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Turn Your Smartphone Into Live TV

Updated on June 3, 2013

Who doesn't like free? Gratis? Because the Apple iPhone can just about to anything from turning on appliances remotely to warming your hands when cold, Belkin, has created a 30-pin device to plug into your iPhone to watch live digital TV.

Now, some may think this is stupid in this day of age of what the multifaceted smartphone is capable of, as long as you can have 4G, you can watch movies\TV shows recorded and watch whenever it is more convenient. I get it. But, if you find watching day old sport events and try to avoid hearing the score in the news media, Dyle, may be your answer.

The device has a single antenna to capture compressed digital TV (DTV) signals and no Wi-Fi or cellular access is needed. Like I said, big urban areas are currently the best place to get it because not all stations broadcast with DTV. Once the channel is locked onto, the reception is free of hiccups or interruptions like on Netflix and other services. The titanium antenna is high quality that allows very good reception while traveling along the road in a car or hanging at the park.

The downside is the DTV signal available in your urban zone and it is compatibile only with iPhone 4/4s, iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3rd Generation. No Android phones at this time.

In the San Francisco area, except for the North Bay, one can get Channels 2 and 4 plus KICU. The coverage is SF and south of SF, Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley, San Jose. All of Los Angeles is covered, in Las Vegas, one gets channels 2 and 5. All one million residents in Phoenix, AZ, could receive channels 2, 4 and KTVK, while in Miami, Florida, channels 4, 5, Telemundo and Univision are received. Curious, in one of America's largest city of eight million in New York City, channels 2, 4, Telemundo, WYNE and WPXN.

The bottom line is that the new DTV format is still quite new. Even the largest urban areas broadcast only a few channels using it and almost always channels 2, 4 or 5. Telemundo (Spanish) is also a frequent one, but other than these, there are no others to tune into. While the idea is good and the execution is fine, if you are not in an urban area with close to a million people (for example, Sacramento with a half million people, has no channels available) the device is worthless. Some may think it is still worthless at $130 in a larger urban setting because of the very limited channels available.

For myself, I was expecting much more availability. Not yet, anyway.


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    • kschang profile image

      kschang 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      You can get 5 inch screen versions for $10 more, usually?

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      bigger screen?

    • kschang profile image

      kschang 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      The question is... why would any one buy that when one can buy a portable TV, 3.5 in display, ATSC and all that, for $75 in any Walmart?