Another way to watch TV on your phone

Ryan Nakashima / The Associated Press /

Published Oct 11, 2013 at 05:00AM

LOS ANGELES — A new gadget lets you watch TV on your phone or tablet without a blocky attachment.

Audiovox’s “mobiletv” gizmo allows you to pick up free TV signals and watch them on Apple and Android mobile devices without eating into your cellular data plan. The accessory doesn’t have to be attached to the mobile device physically. Previous mobile TV antennas could hang precariously from the charging port.

The consumer electronics maker’s device, which costs $130, can be set up within 25 feet of your tablet or smartphone. It works over Wi-Fi and lets consumers watch major broadcast networks, using the Dyle Mobile TV app. The app is downloadable for free from Apple’s App Store or Android’s Google.

The networks and TV stations that are available differ in each of the 38 markets where Dyle operates, such as New York and Los Angeles, so you should check before buying. Not every TV station sends out the kind of TV signals that can be captured by mobile antennas. For now, these signals allow for images that have a relatively fuzzy resolution of 416 by 240 pixels, although work is being done to boost the quality.

Unfortunately, watching TV this way blocks you from surfing the Web or pulling down fresh emails at the same time. But a planned future software update is meant to make that possible.

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