Terrestrial TV is a far cry from cable, but in a pinch it can serve a purpose.  At the very least you can catch some news, albeit mostly crap, along with a few home renovation shows.  And assuming you’re into that finite amount of content, you soon will be able to enjoy it right on your Android or iOS device using a very portable dongle from a company called FilmOn.

FilmOn came to fame in September 2010 when they placed not just TV shows, but TV channels, such as CBS, NBC and others online, as in streaming.  For a time there users could access the channels for free, but eventually the company started to roll out a subscription plan and added a variety of channels to their line up, including porn and movies.  Needless to say, FilmOn eventually found themselves in court for a variety of copyright reasons and caught in a legal battle that continues to this day.  But that hasn’t stopped them.

While it’s not really a workaround, FilmOn has announced plans for a dongle that plugs into your iOS or Android device that will allow you to receive and record terrestrial TV.  It’s called FilmOn Air.  And while there is nothing illegal about this particular setup, or at least grounds for a lawsuit, come February you’ll be able to buy the dongle along witha 1-year subscription to their streaming service for $149.95.  Alternatively, you can drop just $95.95 and you’ll score the dongle and presumably a free app.

The dongle’s battery life will last for up to 5-hours and can pass through power to your device for recharging.  From the above pic, it seems to support both USB connectivity as well as Apple’s 30-pin port, leading some to believe that one dongle will serve both types of devices.

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."