How to watch TV on your smartphone without consuming data

Our favorite program is about to start, we're not at home and we've run out of data on our phone plan: here's how to watch digital terrestrial TV in these cases.

Millions of Italian viewers of digital terrestrial TV and many of them wouldn't want to miss even one of their favorite TV shows, nor skip an episode of the TV series they are most fond of. Sometimes, however, it is not possible to watch TV because we are not at home and we need to find alternative solutions.

The most popular and used is to see the program in streaming, on a smartphone or tablet. Usually it works very well, but there is a problem not to be underestimated: if we are not under Wi-Fi coverage, we will receive the audio-video stream data through the mobile connection, with a heavy impact on our phone plan. Other times, then, the data coverage is not very good and the program will be seen in low resolution or even in jerks because of buffering. In such cases it is very useful to have at hand a DVB-T2 receiver for Android devices, i.e. a small digital terrestrial tuner to be connected to the smartphone or tablet to watch programs not in streaming, but directly via digital terrestrial signal. In jargon these devices are called "OTG tuners", because they connect to the Android device via USB OTG technology, that is "On-The-Go" (here we explain what it is)

Devb-T2 OTG tuner, how it works

A second generation OTG tuner for digital terrestrial is a fairly simple device, which does not even cost that much: it consists of a small box that contains the actual tuner and connects to the smartphone via the USB port. To this tuner is then connected a small portable antenna, included in the package, or (even better choice) an amplified DVB-T2 antenna that we already have at home (here is our guide on amplified DVB antennas).

Through the USB port and the OTG standard, supported by virtually all Android devices, the tuner sends the audio-video data stream to the smartphone or tablet. This stream will then be managed and shown on screen by a special app.

Devb-T2 OTG tuner, how much does it cost

Devices of this kind on the market, unfortunately, are not many but, at least they cost very little: between 20 and 30 euros. These products are not of excellent quality, as confirmed by the low price, but they can make the difference between watching TV or not watching it in many and frequent occasions.

There are then some small limitations to take into account, if we decide to buy one of these products. Dahurhaft's Android TV receiver, for example, has a micro-USB port and not a more convenient (and more common, on recent smartphones) USB-C port. Those who have a device with a USB-C port, therefore, will have to use an adapter.

It can also only tune 30 channels at a time, which should be enough to watch our favorite shows on the major broadcasters, though. On the other hand, it is sold with three types of antenna, one of which (the bracelet one) allows you to use the device in full mobility.

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