iPads and iPhones can do a whole lot, given how much they rely on a simple touchscreen and very limited connectivity. But rob them of a Wi-Fi and 3G connection and they start looking much less impressive. However, for out-and-about iPads in particular, this is a pretty common situation. These moments are what the Hauppauge myTV 2GO is all about. It's a Freeview TV transmitter that creates its own Wi-Fi network to pipe telly programmes over to your phone or tablet, without needing an internet connection.
The Hauppauge myTV 2GO box is a highly portable glossy black plastic slab that's very lightweight at 70g and smaller than most phones and MP3 players. Significantly dinkier than an iPod Classic, it'll slip into pockets very easily.
A metallic finish strip runs along its edges in iPhone 4-like fashion, but this is plastic too. There's not much luxury to the myTV 2GO, but it does feel pretty tough and well-made. It should happily survive a sad life at the bottom of a rucksack.
The cleverest part of the design is the 15cm retractable aerial, the only hint of real metal on the device's outside. It folds away into a neat little hole, and while telescopic, its thin end is that closest to the body - the "fat" part at its end. This aerial is designed to be highly flexible, and can withstand a fair amount of pressure before warping or snapping. Its hinge is also strong enough to keep the aerial pointed in a specific direction without sagging.
On the bottom of the Hauppauge myTV 2GO is a large plastic battery cover that houses the phone-like 1050mAh battery. This provides around 3.5 hours of TV-watching and is charged over USB. A flap on its side hides the miniUSB slot.
Its hardware is remarkably similar to the Humax Tivizen DVB-T, leading us to believe they may be re-branded versions of the same Far-East-made component - the Valups Tivit. They even share the same trio of colourful LED indicators on the front that tell you the battery, Wi-Fi status and signal strength. However, neat hardware like this can so often be unwound by rubbish software.
The setup process here is just the same, though. It relies on the use of an app - available for free from the App Store - based around the Fuugo software. Boot this up for the first time and you'll be prompted to head over to the Wi-Fi menu of your iOS device, to select the network the Hauppauge myTV2Go creates to transmit the television broadcast.
Once sync'd up, you can tell the box to automatically scan through the DVB-T signal for radio and television channels. There's no support for HD channels, but we were able to pick up just about every other Freeview TV and radio channel available in not-all-that-sunny Wimbledon. It works with Macs and PCs too, not just iOS devices.