The myTV 2GO is a neat USB-powered Freeview receiver about the size of two Zippo lighters stuck together, with a small, extendable aerial that’s designed to fire a live digital TV signal over a wireless network to any iPhone or iPad running the free myTV 2GO app. It includes a camera-sized rechargeable battery – rated for 3.5-hours use – which means it can also be moved round the house or taken on holiday and then positioned where it can receive the best signal.
Installation is actually a doddle, but the poorly signposted fold-out instructions make it look more complicated, and things aren’t helped by the fact that it isn’t clear whether you have to install software or drivers onto a PC or Mac in order to get it to work (you don’t unless you actually want to watch and record TV on them); then there’s the device driver error message from the PC when you plug it in (not relevant) and firmware update controls on the iOS device that clearly aren’t finished (i.e. the dialogue box is labelled firmware.upgrade.started.title/firmware.started.upgrade.message/notificationcard.button.ok). A little extra care all round would result in a smoother start.
In fact, you just download the free app, power up the myTV 2GO (we used our Apple mains adaptor) tell the app to use the gizmo’s Wi-Fi rather than your home network and then let it scan for channels; we found a pretty much complete collection of our Freeview ones. The app includes a recording feature and the ability to pause live TV.
Freeview and Internet
Setting up this way works best when the iOS device is near the myTV 2GO unit and although we experienced the occasional dropout, in the main TV was perfectly watchable. Of course, this method means you can’t access the Internet at the same time, so Hauppauge provides an alternative mode which allows you to connect to your home Wi-Fi router via the myTV 2GO app – in this way you can watch TV and then flip out to check emails or update your Facebook status. In this mode we found the key to getting good reception was to stay as close to our router as possible; moving away from the myTV 2GO unit affected the signal slightly but moving more than 10m or so from the router chopped up sound and pictures so that TV was unwatchable. Depending on how you’re connected, you’ll need to experiment.
Although generally, we like myTV 2GO, the electronic programme guide doesn’t seem terribly well organised (in comparison with say, the one that’s included with Windows Media Centre) and crashed too often for comfort, especially when switching between live TV and recording. It’s not very responsive either and it’s sometimes hard to know whether anything’s happening or not. In addition, making the device co-exist with your existing Wi-Fi so you can watch TV and surf at the same time seems longwinded – and to revert to the standard setup the device needs to be reset completely. Still, bearing in mind that this doesn’t need an existing wireless network to do its stuff, if you find yourself on the road a lot it could well be worth a look.
- Convenient, portable and battery powered – a go anywhere Freeview receiver and recorder
- Unstable app keeps crashing and freezing
Neat solution to watching and recording Freeview television on your iPad or iPhone. The fact that it doesn’t need a PC or Mac or wireless network and is highly portable makes it useful for students, travellers or holidaymakers, but the app is disappointing and continued to crash/freeze throughout the review period. Worth keeping an eye on though because once that's sorted out, myTV 2GO will be a decent product.