myTV 2GO full review
The myTV 2GO is a Freeview TV tuner for the iPad and iPhone which lets you watch, pause and record live TV wherever you can get a strong enough signal. The small tuner is about the size of a mobile phone and has a 6in aerial. It connects to your iPad via Wi-Fi and the battery lasts around 3.5 hours.
Setting up the device is pretty simple, but the instructions make it seem more complicated. First, you have to select the myTV 2GO network in the list of Wi-Fi networks, then launch the free Fuugo app and search for channels. After only a couple of minutes you'll be able to watch TV.
The interface is rather clunky: you have to tap the screen to display a menu button which you tap to show the four menu buttons - an unnecessary extra step. The same is true for the playback controls which appear at the bottom of the screen, as you have to tap to show the 'controls' and 'channels' buttons before you can tap one of those.
That initial tap also brings up a box with a programme synopsis and a record button. You can record from the current time as well as scheduling recordings from the TV guide. It's possible to pause and rewind shows even if you're currently recording, and there's a playback marker which you can drag to quickly jump to a point in the buffer.
Bear in mind that you can rewind only to the point at which you pressed the pause button - the app doesn't start filling the 'time-shift' buffer as soon as you switch to a channel like some PVRs do (and the rival Elgato Tivizen's app). Also, since this is a single-tuner product, you can't record one channel and watch another - you're stuck with what you're recording. Make sure you don't quit the app to use another one as this will stop the recording - background recording isn't supported.
There are some nice touches. Swiping left and right flips between channels (so you don't have to use the channels bar) and the synopsis box has a handy progress bar, which is also shown for current programmes when in the TV guide. This lets you see at a glance how long the show has left to run.
The TV guide itself isn't bad, but the channels are displayed horizontally with listings vertically. This means you can see only four channels at once, even on the iPad. Changing channels takes around five seconds, but it's frustrating that there's no warning that a channel's signal is too weak to display it - you simply see a spinning wheel.
Picture quality is pretty much what we'd expect from Freeview. It looks fine on a 3.5in iPhone or iPod touch screen, but on the iPad's 9.7in screen, things look a lot blockier.
As long as we kept our iPad within a few metres of the myTV 2GO, we had no problems with audio stuttering or video breakup. We even found that it could cope when we took the iPad upstairs and left the tuner in the lounge.
We were also impressed that the myTV 2GO managed to pick up almost every Freeview channel from the ground floor of a typical house using its tiny aerial. It didn't fare this well in every location, though. Taking it to PCA towers in Central London, reception was much poorer. It's best to check www.freeview.co.uk/availability to check coverage in your area.
As the myTV 2GO uses a standard Nokia BL-5C battery, you can add an extra 3.5 hours of watching time with a second battery for around £10.
One of the drawbacks of using Wi-Fi to connect is that you have to switch back to your main Wi-Fi network for internet access and email when you've finished watching TV. However, there's a so-called Home Wi-Fi mode which allows the myTV 2GO to connect directly to your router so your iOS device can access the tuner and your broadband connection at the same time. It means you'll receive notifications of new emails or a new Draw Something drawing while you're watching EastEnders.
Strangely, you have to reset the device if you want to disable Home Wi-Fi mode using the reset hole on the side. Also, the mode will work only with certain routers and we couldn't get it working on our Sitecom Gaming Router.
As well as the free iOS app, a bundled CD includes software so you can use the myTV 2Go with a Mac or PC. You can connect either via Wi-Fi or USB, but it's an expensive way to watch TV on a computer compared with much cheaper USB tuners from Hauppauge.
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myTV 2GO: Specs
- DVB-T Freeview TV tuner
- 50x90x13mm, 70g
- 3.5-hour battery life. Requires iOS 4 or later.