Tunity turns your iPhone into personal TV headphones

John Emmert
J. Emmert|12.31.14

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John Emmert
December 31, 2014 8:30 AM
Tunity turns your iPhone into personal TV headphones
Tunity screenshots

The Tunity app allows users to listen to muted TVs through their iPhones with or without headphones. Users will find a number of uses for the app but I can envision it working well when you are at a sports bar with a number of televisions tuned to a variety of sporting events but no sound. The universal app is free and and works best with an iPhone. It requires iOS 7.0 or later.

If you and your friends are in a bar or restaurant and interested in one specific game, now with Tunity you can get the audio at your table. Open the app, Tunity accesses the camera on your phone, turn your phone to the Landscape position, more horizontal than vertical, and align the box on the screen in the app with the TV carrying your game. Tap the screen and hold it still. You need to make sure the TV screen fills the box to make it work. The app will scan the TV picture and then sync up with the audio from the game.

Tunity screenshots

Once the sync is complete you receive the audio out of your iPhone speakers or a headset if you are wearing one. I tried the app on a variety of stations and all of those that met the necessary criteria came up right away and provided me with a loud and clear audio signal.

Now for the criteria on which stations and programs you can use Tunity to grab the audio. It works on sports and non-sports stations equally well but the programming must be part of a national broadcast. Tunity currently can sync up with forty-eight different channels such as all the ESPN channels, Fox Sports 1, CBS SportsChannel, the NHL Network, CNN, and many more. The list of all the channels available is in the app so you can check to see if your program is on one of those channels.

Tunity screenshots

Tunity does not work with local programming so you won't be able to listen to a local newscast or a syndicated program being shown on a local channel. However if the program is a national broadcast such as Sunday Night Football on NBC, an NCAA game on CBS, or the Super Bowl, you can access those type programs through Tunity by scanning the local picture on the screen.

The app connects to the four network stations in New York City and provides you with that audio. This won't work on normal network programs like American Idol or The Big Bang Theory unless you are located in the Eastern or Central time zones. Those programs are shown in the east two hours ahead of the same broadcast in Denver for example or three hours before being shown in California.

Another use of the app is to boost a single user's audio if TV is being watched in a crowded and noisy room. Pop in your headset and you can make the TV as loud as you want.

Overall I think Tunity works well and deserves a look. It won't be for everyone but I think lots of you will find it will come in quite handy.
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