If you want free TV with a crisp, clear picture for your portable device you may not have to wait long. Now that Mobile DTV resolved a minor rumble with the FCC, we figured we’d see some portable tuners start to ship before the major launch around Christmas. True to our suspicions the pocket-sized Tivizen from Valups will ship late in August or early in September, said a spokesman for Valups.
The Tivizen was originally expected to ship in May via Amazon and eBay at $149, but the FCC informed suppliers earlier this year that Mobile DTV violated a 1962 law requiring all TV tuners to include analog TV reception. The FCC just waived that law last week.
The Tivizen picks up Mobile DTV signals and re-transmits them to a WiFi device such a netbook, laptop, iPad or BlackBerry. The Tivizen is smaller and lighter than a deck of cards so you can keep it in a pocket or purse while using your phone or laptop. It was partially funded by TV broadcasters.
Valups has also created an iPhone/iPod touch app to work with the Tivizen.
Free TV for portables and car monitors may start to get some buzz around Christmas. By that time about 100 TV stations should have added on the equipment to broadcast in Mobile DTV. Right now about 45 stations are on the air, expected to reach about 100 by year’s end.
LG Electronics, also a pioneer of the format confirmed it hopes to offer its $249 portable DVD/Mobile DTV player before the end of the year. “Our plan is to have major retailers selling it by Christmas,” said a spokesman, admitting that not all markets will have TV stations for the service. “We want to work with retailers on more of a targeted product availability,” to offer the LG player in storefronts where service is available, said a spokesman. The LG player called the DP570MH has a 7-inch screen.