Elgato Tivizen

A handy portable tuner that streams Freeview wirelessly to iPhones, iPads Macs and PC's

IF THE Tivizen looks familiar that’s because – in hardware terms at least – it’s almost identical to the Equinux Tizi that we reviewed a few months ago.

Like the Tizi, the Tivizen is a ‘mobile TV tuner’ that you can carry around to receive Freeview TV (SD only) and radio channels, and transmit them to an iPhone or iPad via a wireless connection.

Our main complaint about the Tizi was that it couldn’t be connected to an external aerial, and we were disappointed to see that the Tivizen shares that limitation. It has a 6in retractable aerial built into it, but this wasn’t able to pick up a signal at the test site – a flat in East London – and the fact that we couldn’t connect it to our own larger aerial meant that we couldn’t use it at home at all.

Fortunately, though, the Tivizen seemed to work fine outdoors as we moved around town. We were able to pick up a signal when sitting near the window in a few coffee shops dotted around London, so the Tivizen is certainly a good option if you specifically need a TV tuner when you’re on the move rather than at home or in your office.

Elgato is well known for its slick EyeTV software for the Mac and this is an area where the Tivizen definitely outguns the Tizi.

Timeshifting and playback

The Tivizen app for the iPhone and iPad is also more versatile, particularly with features such as timeshifting. You can pause live broadcasts and resume playback when you’re ready. You can also return to the live broadcast and then continue to step back through the broadcast that has been buffered within the app’s memory. You can turn timeshifting off altogether, or increase the duration to an hour. An hour equals 1.5GB of your iPhone or iPad’s memory.

Elgato’s EyeTV software is included for the Mac, or you can use Terratec’s Home Cinema for Windows PCs. These include an eight-day EPG (the iPad app offers now-and-next only), and the ability to schedule recordings ■ Cliff Joseph

VERDICT

As Tivizen creates its own WiFi network we couldn’t use our home network while watching TV (an update for this which also lets it act as a USB TV tuner should now be available).

As with the Tizi, the inability to connect to an external aerial also limits the device’s usefulness. However, it works well as a mobile TV tuner when you’re out and about, and has better software support than the Tizi.

PLUS
■ Portable Freeview TV tuner
■ WiFi connectivity
■ Recording and timeshift options
MINUS
■ Expensive
■ Can’t connect to an external aerial
■ We couldn’t (yet) also access web via home network during testing

Build
★★★★★★★★
Setup
★★★★★★★★
Searching
★★★★★★
Navigation
★★★★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★★★
Features
★★★★★★★★
Value
★★★★★★★★

What Satellite & Digital TV rating
75%

 

FEATURES
Devices supported: iPad, iPhone 4/3GS, iPod Touch 3rd/4th gen, OSX 10.5.8, PC with Windows 7
Wireless connectivity: 802.11g/b
Common interface: No
Freeview HD: No
MHEG-5: No Teletext: No
EPG: Now-and-next (iPad), 8-day (PC/Mac only)
Recording: Yes
AV outputs: None
Data ports: USB
Battery life: 3.5hrs

Originally published in Issue 304