Elgato Tivizen £150
7th Jun 2011 | 12:30
The easy way to watch TV on your Mac or iOS device
The Elgato Tivizen is a battery-powered mini digital TV tuner for the Mac and iOS devices. After downloading the Mac's EyeTV3 or the free iOS app, the Tivizen creates a Wi-Fi hotspot for you to join. You then open the app and let it search for DVB-T channels, before sitting back and enjoying your favourite shows.
Tivizen lets you watch and record live TV, and use a now-and-next electronic programme guide (EPG). It's very similar to the equinux tizi, with only the software setting them apart.
We think the Tivizen has a marginally superior iOS app as it gives full player and channel controls when watching in landscape mode. You can also pause, rewind and fast-forward live TV (which you can't on the tizi), as well as start a recording just by tapping the screen. This then displays an info bar with the EPG details, as well as controls to change the channel, sound and language, where available.
Unlike the tizi, Tivizen also offers Mac support. One thing the Tivizen app lacks is the ability to browse the EPG while still watching a particular channel. In reality, though, you either have to flick through the channels one by one or close the viewer. In this respect, it's inferior to the tizi's app.
Picture quality is superb provided you stay within range of the Tivizen, and that range is reasonable. Signal permitting, it's fine for student digs or a hotel room. And a full charge through the mini-USB port gave us just over three hours of TV.
So do we recommend this over the tizi? Based on the superior iOS app and the fact that the Tivizen works with PCs and Macs as well, yes we do. But since the hardware's the same, the flaws we encountered with the tizi remain, notably that you can't connect an external aerial.
In some places, the Tivizen's little antenna gave us high-quality Freeview. But in others, it couldn't find a single channel. And the only way you're going to find out if it works where you are it is to try it for yourself.
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