Review Price £69.95
Humax Tivizen Dongle for iPad - iPad App and Recording Features
We also like the app for the Humax Tivizen Dongle for iPad, as it's nicely presented and easy to use. The default view shows the currently selected channel in the top half of the screen with a large EPG displayed at the bottom. The right-hand side of the EPG shows a scrollable list of channels, while the right hand side displays a list of the programs on the currently selected channel that are coming up over the next eight days. There's also an 'i' button next to each program entry that you can tap on to call up a description of the show or movie.
In a thin banner separating the video windows from the EPG, you'll find a slider for controlling the volume and a record button that you can tap on to instantly start recording the current show to your iPad's memory.
Next to this record button there's an icon with a globe on it. Hit this and the video windows gets reduced to a thumbnail in the top left of the screen while a web browser window fills the rest of the screen space. This isn't the standard Safari browser, as there's no search box and your existing bookmarks aren’t available. However, allowing you to continue watching TV while surfing the web really is a neat addition to the product.
If you tap the video thumbnail window at any time, whether you're in the browser or on the EPG screen, the app will switch to showing the current channel full screen. It's all pretty straightforward stuff, but there are a few niggles.
First, it doesn’t sort the channels into their correct order. Instead you end up with a pretty jumbled channel line up. For example, Sky News and Pick TV were first and second in the list with BBC One and BBC Two relegated to channel numbers ten and eleven. Luckily you can edit the channel list to move them around, but it's a bit of a laborious process.
The other problem relates to recording. You can’t schedule recordings using the software. Instead you can only start a recording of something you're currently watching. This is a shame as it means that if you spot an upcoming movie that you'd like to watch later on your iPad you have to manually start the recording as there's no way to have the software do it for you.
Also, the TV tuner is only a DVB-T model, so it doesn’t support DVB-T2 broadcasts. This means it doesn’t support HD channels, which is a shame as they would have looked superb on the iPad 3's retina display. Also, you'll have problems using it in some other European countries, such as Ireland, where even SD channels are broadcast as MPEG 4 streams.
The Humax Tivizen Dongle is a decent option if you want to be able to watch live TV on the go and not rely on streaming apps such as TVCatchup. However, you definitely need to be in a very strong reception area to get the best performance from it and while the related app is easy to use it's also missing some key features, such as the ability to schedule recordings.
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