Free Cable TV on the iPad? Dial Up

Watch Cable TV on your iPad with the App!

Do you have an iPad and Cable TV? Do you wish the two could work together? These days, Dyle is aiming to make your dreams come true — sort of. Buy all the requirements, and turns your smartphone or tablet into a second, mobile TV that picks up channels and displays them live, at no extra cost for you.

In the past, a mile of red tape, formatting issues, and contract clashes made it impossible to watch live Cable TV on your iPad. Now, things are slowly beginning to change, and Dyle represents the latest step forward. Download the Dyle requirements and you can log into an iPad or other mobile device, then bring up select channels to view. The same live show you watch through your regular TV subscription can be viewed on your tablet through Dyle — all you need is a few additional accessories. It is entirely above board and legal, with the backing of several major networks, including NBC and Fox.

Dyle TV Program Guide - Watch Cable TV on your iPad! is currently available in over 35 cities nationwide — and possibly coming to a city near you.

If you are tired of using Hulu or the awkward players the networks use (after the show has already aired), the Dyle TV solution could offer you a useful mobile TV. However, with a service so new, you cannot expect all your dream channels in one package.

Dyle does come with some serious limitations you should know about before jumping in.

What Do I Need to Make Dyle Work?

Dyle works with a proprietary app called EyeTV that you can download for free. Thanks to partnerships with MetroPCS and Mobile Content Venture, you can use the service on an increasing number of devices. Dyle even comes readymade on the new Samsung Galaxy S Lightray. Your average iPad or iPhone needs the app and small antennae to pick up signals.

Service range is also somewhat limited. For now, Dyle is hitting the major cities, like Las Vegas, Boston, Dallas, New York, and San Francisco. If you are not near one of the 35 Dyle cities, you cannot get Dyle services. This is partly because the service works through traditional broadcasts, not landline connections, so only broadcast towers equipped with the right software can handle the transmissions.

When images arrive on the iPad, they may also leave a little to be desired — quality falls quite a bit below the HD levels so many viewers are used to. However, since the service does not depend on streaming Internet quality, you will experience none of those annoying jumps or blackouts that you may see with other services over set-top boxes, like Netflix. If the channel is being broadcast, you can pick it up.

Now for some good news: Because Dyle uses broadcast transmissions, you do not need a data plan or Wi-Fi connection to use it. No wireless necessary, which means watching TV will not affect your data limits and you do not need to worry about going outside the range of your wireless router. This free service is available as long as you download the app — and purchase the $100 adapter. This adapter serves as a supplemental battery and a pair of digital “bunny ears” that picks up broadcasting waves for your iPad. Fortunately, the device is small and relatively unobtrusive.

What Channels Does Dyle Have?

Dyle may be legal and fully functional, but you can only watch the channels that have endorsed the system. This means that only NBC, Fox, and ION, Univision, and several smaller networks are making their channels available. Watching NFL games — one of the key bonuses of the mobile Cable TV system — is not possible because the NFL does not grant rights to Dyle. If you are passionate about other sports, especially local sports within the 35 cities that Dyle serves, you will have better luck watching your channels live.

Dyle is a limited service for the time being. Unless you love NBC and FOX and are willing to drop $100 on an extra antennae, you may want to wait until the next iteration. But if you love mobile TV and have low data limits on your current Internet service plan, Dyle can be a great way to watch specific shows without paying anything beyond start-up costs. The service is new, and the consortium supporting the technology could be joined by other networks in the future, expanding your coverage options significantly.

Cable TV on mobile devices is a growing fad, especially in Korea and Japan, and the trend is moving this way. Dyle is onto a good idea and with a few improvements it could be a winning application. Even if you decide to skip Dyle for the coming months, keep an eye on this service for future expansion.