Review Equinux tizi DVB-T WLAN hotspot for iOs devices
DVB-T to go.
Watching television with iPad and Co.? Equinux makes it possible with the external tizi box over WLAN. Whats special: The receiver is mobile thanks to its integrated battery. How well this works was tested by us.
IPad, iPhone (from 3GS) and iPod touch (from 3. gen., 32 GB) can use the mobile DVB-T television receiver from iOs4, and offers another usage area with its addition. A lot of freedom is offered for this by the integrated battery, which should provide for run times of up to 3.5 hours, and also provides for use at pick-nicks, in the garden, and when camping etc., on top of the more common use at home. The DVB-T receiver box from Equinux is currently available from about 140 Euros, and therewith placed in the absolute premium sector. Further information is available from the Equinux homepage.
The external box measures about 13 x 92 x 53 mm, and weights a total of 68 grams. These are altogether relatively compact dimensions, which suite the mobile use of the tizi very well. The high gloss black plastic case is clad in an aluminum colored bar, and provides for a very restrained and tidy appearance. As is already familiar from other high gloss devices, the DVB-T receiver is also very sensitive to dust and finger prints, which can quickly lead to an eye sore. The good stability and the generally high quality impression however make up for this to a certain extent.
Underneath a turning cover at the lower end the mini USB interface can be found, which is used for charging the battery, on the right side is the on/off switch and a reset button which can be accessed using a pen, and on the upper end is the very flexible antenna, which can be pulled out and pushed back in completely. Included in the delivery is a matching mini USB cable, although a power adapter is not included. On the bottom surface the battery is hidden under a removable panel. Three LEDs on the top surface indicate the status of the battery charge, the network connectivity, and the network data transfer. The necessary free application can be downloaded from the App store with the appropriate access code. The transfer and the following installation took place on our iPad 3G 16 GB with the current iOs 4.2 without problems.
Now we can start the channel search. If allowing the App to use the location information of the iPad, the search is restricted to the transmission frequencies relevant to the region which expedites the process. After about 3 minutes it is then possible to arrange the channels in the wanted order. Per touch in the portrait orientation, or slide in landscape orientation, it is possible to select the channel individually or skip through the channels one by one. The reception performance makes a subjectively good impression, and does not indicate any limitations. According to the manufacturer this is the responsibility of an ARM-9 RISC processor, which doesn't appear to have any difficulties with this task. With the exception of the possibility to transmit across the WLAN connection with WEP encryption, tizi does not provide any further functionality. No recording, and hence also no delayed watching, as well as no EPG. The only other thing that it is possible to do with the tizi is therefore watching television, and that is of course only with the appropriate iOs device. As soon as a second device is attached to the tizi network, the connection to the first device is disconnected.
The tizi WLAN DVB-T hotspot works with the 802.11b/g WiFi standard. The reach that was determined by us in our practical test lies at approximately 21 meters, within a building with line of sight between the sender and receiver, after which point the first interruptions in the link started to become apparent. In more common circumstances, such as within a home with walls, the reach we determined was between 10 and 15 meters.
The battery life lasted for 214 minutes in our test scenario with a TV transmission into the next door room. With this the run time even exceeds that claimed by the manufacturer slightly. For those who this is not enough for, there is the possibility to purchase additional battery packs. These are currently available for 20 Euros from the Equinux shop. The stationary use with the appropriate USB power adapter is also possible.
Equinux offers an exclusive possibility to also watch television on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod with the tizi. For this the high price of 100 Euros definitely is a negative aspect, as well as the lack of functionality. It is already possible to get entry level DVB-T sticks for Windows that can do significantly more. Whether Equinux will still make some improvements in this respect will have to be seen. What nevertheless does impress is the simple operation, the decent case quality, its mobile properties, and the good transmission quality with the corresponding signal strength.