With all the legal battles surrounding broadcast TV streaming service Aereo, you might get the impression that networks that use our public airways are all against people enjoying what should be free to watch stations on their mobile devices. That’s not exactly true. One of Aereo’s competitors is Dyle TV, a service backed by major broadcast groups and Fox, Ion, and NBC, to name a few. Using one of Dyle’s mobile apps, owners of compatible devices can watch local stations without a need for a mobile connection. The apps are free but there’s a catch: your device needs an antenna.
There are already a couple of existing antenna dongles for iDevices, and now there’s a third. Starting today, you can scoop up a Belkin Dyle Mobile TV Receiver on Belkin.com and Amazon for $130. The small dongle includes a telescoping antenna and connects to Apple 30-pin ports. It’s only compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4S and the first through third generation iPads. Anything with a Lightning connector is right out. According to Belkin reps, the receiver won’t work with the 30-pin-to-Lightning converter.
It’s nice that Dyle’s service doesn’t require an Internet connection to work, as Aereo does, so the receiver could be nice for trips of the road variety since it won’t use up your data allotment. The thing is, Dyle doesn’t capture all channels on the broadcast spectrum, only channels where a partnership exists. This could be due to Dyle’s desire to play nice and not get sued. Since a group of broadcasters are behind the parent company, it makes sense that they would not do to other networks what they wouldn’t want someone to do to them. Honor among thieves is all well and good, but you should remember that Dyle and other services like it are bringing you networks that are technically freely available.
Before dropping money on this new Belkin receiver, check out Dyle’s coverage map to make sure you live in a city where the service works and to check out which channels you get. In some areas it might be worth it, as the one-time cost of this accessory is far less than what you have to pay to stream or sling TV to a mobile device via a cable or satellite provider over a year. If all you want is local sports, news, and sitcoms, Dyle is worth checking out.