West Chester, Ohio – Escort, the supplier of radar and laser detectors, has begun offering a dongle that turns iPads, iPhones and iPod touches into TV screens for viewing free live local mobile-DTV broadcasts transmitted by local stations under the Dyle Mobile TV brand.
The company’s Escort MobileTV receiver, priced at an introductory $99.95 at Amazon.com and Escortinc.com, follows the launch of a similar device by computer accessories supplier Elgato.
As with Elgato’s dongle, Escort’s dongle must be used in conjunction with a free app available in Apple’s iTunes store.
Escort’s product is the third product available to consumers to receive Dyle TV broadcasts. Another one is Samsung’s Galaxy S Lightray 4G Android smartphone, which is sold by no-contract carrier MetroPCS in the 15 markets where it operates its cellular network. The phone launched in August at $459.
As with the Elgato dongle, Escort’s receiver plugs into the 30-pin ports of the iPhone 4S (iOS 5.1 or later); iPod Touch fourth generation, iPad2 , and iPad1 using the iOS 4.3.3 (or later), and third-generation iPad using the iOS 5.1 or later. Using Apple’s Lightning-to-30-pin adapter, the dongle plugs into the Lightning ports of the fifth-generation iPod touch, iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad, and iPad mini.
The Escort receiver incorporates ATSC-Mobile DTV tuner and built-in rechargeable battery to deliver live entertainment, sports and breaking news from select TV around the country. While viewing Live TV on an iPad, users can extend viewing time by selecting either the iPad battery or the Escort device’s battery for use. Users can also pause live broadcasts for up to 10 minutes.
More Dyle TV products are on the way, including an aftermarket in-car Dyle TV tuner and antenna planned by Audiovox in 2013. Its product can be added to existing rear-seat video systems and is expected to cost less than $500.
Dyle TV was established by the Mobile Content Venture (MCV), a joint venture of 12 major broadcast groups that have adopted the industry-standard ATSC-Mobile format for mobile-DTV broadcasting. Members broadcast free ATSC-Mobile programming using proprietary encryption, but the Dyle-compatible phone will also receive unencrypted ATSC-Mobile from other TV stations if available. The group eventually plans a mix of free and subscription TV programming.
In the 35 markets where Dyle members operate, more than 90 local stations are broadcasting a DyleTV signal, reaching 53 percent of the U.S. population.
Escort sells laser and radar detectors under the Escort, Passport, Redline, Solo, Pro Beltronics brands and also sells Guardian Alert reverse obstacle-detection systems and Entourage GPS-tracking devices.