FRANCISCO, NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES – Over-the-air
TV is now available on iPads and iPhones. The EyeTV Mobile device has been
launched by manufacturer Elgato, and Dyle, the branded, live mobile DTV service
from Mobile Content Venture. The small peripheral with a telescoping antenna
allows with iOS devices to decode over-the-air mobile DTV signals.
The $100 accessory connects to iOS devices directly via the dock connector. The
tuner receives mobile TV signals via a “miniature antenna for use on-the-go, or
a rod antenna, which provides broader range at home or in the office,”
according to the announcement. It works with a free companion app that also provides
DVR-like features such as pause and resume, as well as an electronic program
The device can also be used to receive mobile DTV signals from non-Dyle
stations broadcasting an ATSC M/H signal, Dyle and Elgato said. Dyle-branded TV
is being transmitted by more than 90 stations in 35 markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, New York,
Philadelphia, Portland, Ore.; Kansas City, Mo.; Miami and several other cities.
MCV said it covers about 55 percent of the U.S. population.
The iOS peripherals represent the second major Dyle consumer receiver debut.
They follow the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G, the first smartphone with mobile
DTV reception capability. The Lightray was introduced in early August with a
list price of $459 plus tax, with no annual service contract service starting
at $40 a month. It’s available in 12 Dyle markets.
Korean consumer electronics giant LG released a standalone mobile DTV receiver
in 2010, but the $250 clamshell TV didn’t gain much traction in the market, in
part because mobile DTV hadn’t officially been launched. Dyle went live this year, while generic mobile DTV was
at an event in Washington, D.C. in September.
The EyeTV Mobile features a miniature aerial, a rod
aerial with magnetic base and removable suction cup, quick-start guide, and a
USB charging cable (intended for use with the EyeTV Mobile battery, not
designed to charge an iPad). The EyeTV Mobile app requires iOS 5.1 or newer, and
the accessory works with the fourth-generation iPod Touch, the iPads 1, 2, and
3; iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. It is also compatible with the newest iOS devices
through adapters that connect the accessory, including the iPhone 5, 5G iPod
Touch, 4G iPad and iPad Mini.
The EyeTV Mobile accessory is priced at $99.95 and is available from Elgato, Amazon,
and other retailers. The companion de-encryption app is available at no charge
in the App Store and can be activated immediately without a subscription fee, “which
is subject to change at any time,” Dyle said. Dyle executives have said that
the service would be free through 2012, at which time MCV members would
evaluate the business model.
Content Venture’s 300 stations include those from Belo, Cox Media Group, E.W.
Scripps, Gannett, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith, Post-Newsweek
Stations. and Raycom Media, all of which are part of the standalone entity
known as Pearl, LLC, as well as Fox, ION Television and NBC.
Another broadcaster mobile DTV group, the Mobile500, was on track to soft
launch their branded service—MyDTV—in Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul last
month. Mobile500 members include Fisher, Hubbard, Sinclair, Gray and others
comprising 437 stations covering around 94 percent of U.S. TV households. The
Mobile500 group is also using similar receiver peripherals from Elgato.