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Turn your phone into a Freeview+ box with TVman Mobility

TVman Mobility is another Freeview-on-your-phone type product, but one with a couple of tricks up its sleeve - the ability to record programmes and charge your device. 

Available to buy now for £69, TVman Mobility is a portable unit that comes with a digital terrestrial tuner built in and a slot for a microSD card, which is where you'll save your recordings for later viewing. 

In order to access both live and recorded shows, you’ll need to download the TVman Mobility app on your phone or tablet. 

TVman Mobility is basically a Freeview+ set top box for phones and tablets
TVman Mobility is basically a Freeview+ set top box for phones and tablets

Once you’ve got that installed, you’ll be able to set recordings from your phone for later viewing. 

Like Elgato’s Eye TV W, TVman Mobility doesn’t need to be connected physically to your phone, but you do need a direct WiFi connection in order to be able to watch programmes and send recording requests - your TVman Mobility will appear as a WiFi hotspot in your settings. 

While you can download shows for offline viewing with the BBC iPlayer apps, TVman Mobility lets you keep shows for as long as you want - content won’t expire after a set number of days. You can also record shows from every Freeview channel, in case you’ve always wanted to watch Rocks & Co and QVC Beauty on your iPhone 5S. 

While this means you can watch TV on your phone in without burning through a data plan, you’ll still need decent Freeview reception - otherwise all of your recordings are going to look horrible. 

The TVman Mobility has a DVB tuner, meaning you’ll only be able to record SD content. Manufacturers Noovo are working on incorporating a DVB T2 tuner in future models so Freeview HD channels can be viewed and recorded. 

Once you’ve recorded a show, you can pop the microSD card out, stick it in an adapter and then watch programmes on your laptop if you want. Alternatively, you can turn the TVman Mobility into a wireless hotspot and stream to devices on your home network. 

Recording programmes aside, the TVman Mobility’s battery - an 1850mAh cell - can also be used in a pinch to recharge your phone. TVman Mobility makers Noovo reckon that when fully charged, it will fill up 50 per cent of an iPhone 5’s battery, which could come in handy if you’re nowhere near a mains socket. 

If you’re not using it as a back up battery for your phone or tablet, you’ll be able to get around 4 hours of viewing time out of it. 

You can pick up a TVman Mobility from Maplin and other good retailers now. Apps for iPhone and iPad can be downloaded from iTunes while Android versions are available on Google Play

TVman Mobility Specifications:

  • Tuner: DVB-T
  • WiFi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz 1T1R WPS, WEP, WPA, WPA2 
  • Wireless range: 20m indoors / 40m outdoor
  • MicroSD card slot: Up to 64GB, (SD, SDHC, FAT32, NTFS)
  • Battery: 1850mAh, 4 hours TV playback

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