By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Hauppauge, N.Y. – Audiovox Electronics, a division of Voxx International, launched the first Dyle mobile TV accessory that turns Apple and Android mobile devices into Dyle-compatible mobile DTV screens.
The accessory is the $129-suggested Audiovox Mobiletv, a portable battery-operated ATSC-Mobile DTV receiver that transmits live broadcast-TV content to an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet via a Wi-Fi peer-to-peer connection.
The receiver, made by Siano, is controlled from free iOS and Android apps that Siano developed to let users select channels, view a program guide, and control pause/rewind features. Its internal rechargeable battery provides up to four hours of TV viewing at speeds up to 100MBps.
The device, which features a telescoping antenna, is available today at Amazon.com, more than 380 RadioShack stores in Dyle TV coverage areas, and ABC Warehouse in the Detroit area. Audiovox also plans sales through another large regional retailer in the next 30 days.
The device is the first of its kind because other Dyle-TV receivers for use with smartphones and tablets are designed for use only with Apple’s mobile devices. Those receivers plug into the mobile device’s Apple connector. Audiovox Mobiletv, in contrast, works with Android and Apple mobile devices, and it doesn’t need to be plugged in because it uses Wi-Fi to stream broadcast-TV content to mobile devices.
The Audiovox-branded device also offers other advantages that other mobile TV dongles don’t, the spokesman said. “It doesn't hang as an appendage from your device [with attached antenna],” he said. And “it allows placement of the mobile TV receiver say near a window for better reception rather than you moving yourself to an area of better reception.”
On top of that, he said, Audiovox Mobiletv lets households with a mix of Apple and Android devices share the receiver, and “it does not become obsolete when you change phone or tablets that may have different connectors (30-pin to Lightning, for instance).”
Because the receiver uses a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection, only one tablet or smartphone at a time can display the receiver’s content.
Dyle mobile TV, operated by Mobile Content Venture (MCV), is a joint-venture of 12 major broadcast groups that deliver live over-the-air broadcast TV, including local and national news, to mobile devices. Dyle mobile TV is available in 38 markets reaching 57 percent of the U.S. population.
Members broadcast free ATSC-Mobile programming using proprietary encryption, but Dyle-compatible devices will also receive unencrypted ATSC-Mobile from other TV stations if available. The group eventually plans a mix of free and subscription TV programming.
Other Dyle mobile TV receivers include an iOS-device dongle from Elgato and Escort at $99. Those 30-pin dongles are compatible with Apple’s Lightning adapter for use with newer Apple devices. Belkin also offers a dongle for Apple’s mobile devices.
Digital Stream has developed and plans to ship an 8-inch RCA-brand Android tablet that incorporates Dyle tuner. For its part, Audiovox is developing an aftermarket in-car Dyle TV tuner and antennas that can be added to existing rear-seat video systems.
No-contract carrier MetroPCS had offered a Dyle TV-compatible Galaxy S Lightray 4G Android smartphone from Samsung, but it has been discontinued.
Dyle’s broadcast groups including Belo, Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith, Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media, Fox, Ion Television and NBC.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.