Hauppauge have a fine pedigree with media hardware – I remember having a Hauppauge TV tuner card in my very first PC. Times have moved on, though, and even now we have digital TV we only need a small device to add TV capabilities to a computer or, indeed, a smartphone.
The MyTV 2Go, as the name suggests, is a portable solution. It’s a small, smooth black plastic box, smaller than an iPod and weighing about 70g, with a small telescopic aerial and connection to your devices via Wi-fi.
But let’s rewind first and go back over the basics. In the supplied box you get the MyTV 2Go device, a USB cable 1, instruction leaflet and CD ROM. The battery for the device is packed separately and, looking like a common phone battery, I suspect this is easily replaced 2. It should, when fully charged, give about 3.5 hours of TV watching.
Holding it landscape, the MyTV 2Go has a small, very maneuverable telescopic aerial on the right hand side, a chunky silver button at the bottom along with a reset “hole” and, behind a plastic flap, a USB connection on the left. Hidden behind the black plastic front are 3 lights – battery level, WiFi transmission status and an operation indicator.
Once switched on the MyTV begins to transmit on a wireless channel. You can connect to it via an iOS device (iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch), Windows or a Mac. I’ll go over the software on these devices in a bit but to connect the two together you simply find the wireless network that the MyTV has created and connect to it. Then you use the device specific hardware to view the resulting TV. Alternatively, if you’re using the PC software you can use the USB cable (usually needed for charging the MyTV) to connect, freeing your WiFi connection.
Of course, by doing this it means that your device can’t then connect to your own WiFi and, hence, the internet. Hauppauge provide a way around this if you’re at home – the provided software for each device allows you to connect to the MyTV and instruct it to connect to your own wireless network. That way your device can remain connected to your router and will communicate to the MyTV via that.
I should take this opportunity to praise the instructions. They may be presented as a basic leaflet but, unlike a lot of others that I’ve read recently, they tell you exactly what you need to know and are generally well written. They only cover the hardware usage and installing the software – use of the software is covered by a tutorial that appears when you first run it.
Next, I’ll go through the software options. Whether the PC or iOS software is used, it’s provided by Fuugo rather than Hauppauge.
Using MyTV 2Go on iOS Devices
After installing the free iOS App and setting up your WiFi connection the first thing the App will do is search for available channels. This takes a few minutes.
Once complete the first station will be shown. Swipe gestures allow you to access menus (e.g. swipe down to bring up the main menu options) and a prod in the middle of the screen will display channel information. It’s all quite intuitive and easy to use.
A 7 day EPG is available and you can record and playback programmes.
The Freeview tuner in the MyTV is only standard definition, so no HD channels are available but you can access radio as well. The picture quality, though, is excellent and the screenshots below really don’t do it justice.
My biggest issue with the App was stability. When struggling with a signal it would often crash out entirely. Indeed, I found that a signal that would occasionally drop out with the iOS App would be completely solid with the PC equivalent. Maybe this was coincidence, though.
Using MyTV 2Go on Windows
The CD ROM included in the box is used to install software for Windows or Mac. I’ve tried the former.
You have 2 installation options – the software and/or the drivers. The latter are only needed if you wish to connect your PC to the MyTV via USB. In my case I connected via WiFi.
The program is incredibly like the iOS equivalent – so much so in fact that I’d recommend reading the iOS details above to learn more about it’s use, even the swipe gestures work too.
The big difference between the two however, I noticed, was the better stability of the Windows version with a solid picture and no crashing of the application.
The PC version makes use of the bigger screen size with a bottom bar showing TV channel logos, making it easier to switch between channels.[review]The third party software can be a bit unstable, particularly the iOS App, and you’ll need to get a strong Freeview signal to get anything on the tiny aerial. However, it’s also a fantastic piece of hardware, easy to use and just as easy to pocket. If you’re out and about a lot this is a brilliant way to watch TV on-the-go.[/review]
- mini USB, unfortunately, at a time when most phones are using micro USB
- in fact I’ve read that it used a standard Nokia BL-5C battery