Audiovox mobiletv is a new device that allows you to watch live television on your mobile device without the need for an Internet connection or data plan. Sound too good to be true? Well, it is a bit.
It’s a cool little device and definitely something your friends will “ooh” and “ahh” over next time they come over, but there are a few caveats. Though it does live up to the claim of providing free mobile TV without a cable subscription or Internet connection, its usage of the term “TV” is rather liberal in the sense that there are only ever four or five channels to choose from.
Here’s how it works: In conjunction with Dyle TV, the mobiletv transmitter receives free broadcast signals and transmits them to your phone or tablet via your Wi-Fi connection. This only works because Dyle TV has a deal with the major broadcast networks to provide these broadcast channels for free to mobile users.
Now, as I mentioned before, there isn’t much to choose from channel-wise. Right now in my apartment I get the local NBC affiliate, the local CBS affiliate, a children’s programming channel and two Spanish language channels. Like I said, it’s not much, and it’s mostly due to how new the service is.
Because it’s so young, Dyle TV only works in certain coverage areas, which as of now includes only a handful of major cities. With the way networks are preventing their content from distribution models that don’t utilize ads, it’s no surprise at how limited the selection is.
That being said, setup is rather easy, especially if you’re already a bit tech savvy. Though, even if you aren’t, the steps are fairly straightforward. After fully charging it out of the box, as the instructions suggest, open the antenna and turn the power switch to “On.” At this point, make sure you have the Dyle TV app installed on whatever mobile device you are using – don’t worry, it’s free. Once the transmitter is on, go to your Wi-Fi settings, there, you’ll find a wireless signal named “Audiovox.” Once connected, open the Dyle app, scan for channels and presto.
Though it’s easy to use, the app does have its issues. For instance, the scanning function times out every now and again, and the sleep function can be a bother since you can’t wake it up from your mobile device alone. This is especially annoying if you’ve placed it near a window and have to get up to restart it.
To sum it up, this is a cool, future-y piece of technology that allows a new kind of freedom in how and where we watch TV. At the moment, this medium is extremely limited and not exactly practical unless you want to watch one of two channels specifically, or you’re on the road – even then it’s a bit iffy, as signals differ from area to area. For now it’s not the most practical device, though it is interesting for the novelty. Someday, after Dyle has expanded outside its current coverage range and increased the channel count, this could be a useful, even important device. Today’s just not that day.