TAKE A LOOK AROUND you on many sites today, and you’ll almost definitely see a digital aerial or satellite dish. Providing you’re in a good signal area, with the right equipment, picture quality from these systems is very good.
But no matter how lightweight your satellite dish claims to be, the fact remains that a dish, stand, receiver, cables and television combination needs a lot of room.
Welcome to the tizi. If you’re the proud owner of an iPad, iPad2, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS running iOS 4, iPod touch 4th gen or iPod touch 3rd gen with iOS 4 (phew), then hassle-free digital television on tour is at your fingertips.
What’s in the box?
Unpack the box and you’ll find this beautiful-looking little gadget, a USB charging cable and, well, that’s it. The tizi itself is the length of a credit card, the width of an iPhone and weighs just shy of 70g. A small, extending antenna can be pulled from the top, and the unit is switched on using a button on the right-hand side.
Essentially, the tizi allows you to watch TV by connecting to it using WiFi. It picks up the pictures using its aerial and sends them wirelessly to your device, meaning there’s no mess. We put it to the test using a first-generation Apple iPad.
Making the right connections
First you’ll need to connect the tizi to your iPad or laptop via its USB cable for charging. This will take around two hours from empty. Once charged, turn the tizi on and wait for the green power, signal and WiFi lights to stay illuminated.
Next, download the FREE tizi.tv app from Apple’s App Store and, once installed, open it up. Making sure you’re connected to the tizi’s WiFi transmitter; you will then be asked to search for the channels available.
After a few minutes of searching, the tizi.tv app will display all the channels avialable to view, picked up through the antenna. We originally tried the tizi inside and were very disappointed with the subsequent seven channels found. Taken outside, however, 82 channels were suddenly available – including radio stations.
The tizi comes with an internal lithium battery, which is good for three hours of continuous TV playback. Mains power is required to plug in the iPad via its 230V socket adapter and, in turn, connecting the tizi to the iPad using the USB cable.
With the antenna outside or next to the window, the video playback was really smooth and with a swipe of the screen, the channels changed and loaded quickly. Held in portrait mode, you’ll have access to all the available channels and various settings menus. Turn the iPad or iPhone into landscape mode and your favourite show will fill the screen. We’d rather have the iPad screen, though, as an iPhone wouldn’t be sufficient for anything other than personal use.
Ultimately, the tizi works well, as long as the antenna is well placed. On the move we’re not sure it would perform so well. The price tag is high and there are questions raised about how much someone really needs a device like this, considering free TV websites such as tvcatchup.com.
However, the user needn’t worry about data usage with the tizi, thanks to that independent WiFi connection. Its size, weight and cable-less operation are also attractive features. Despite the price, caravanners who already own an iPad and are looking at expensive television and sattelite packages for their vans could be tempted.