Gizmos that can make the commute a bit more fun

Shouting into your mobile on the train during the morning commute may be frowned upon, but there’s nothing to say you can’t watch telly.

AverMedia.com’s Hybrid Volar dongle will turn your laptop into a digital TV recorder, so you can watch 50 digital Freeview channels. Or listen to the cricket commentary on the radio.

The pictures are better on radio, if you use your imagination.You can even record stuff and edit your own highlights, but you need to have a good wi-fi connection.

On the other hand, the Tizi.tv gadget for iPhones and iPads works pretty much anywhere. I managed to get this mobile TV hotspot working on an iPhone in five minutes (got some filthy looks on the train, mind).

The Tizi is effectively a pocket set top box for your iPhone. That might sound strange – it looks like a small pocket radio, complete with extendable antenna – but the pictures and sound are great.

Better still, it can deliver these over wi-fi too, saving you on your 3G connection, and giving you nifty options for watching TV anywhere around your house as well as on the move.

For the time being, turning a mobile into a digital TV does require you to be an Apple user. If, on the other hand, you just want to take your revenge on uppity train carriage shushers, mobile technology offers a gadget that will provide a bit of devious fun.

Generally people think train carriages should be like libraries, with the silence only broken by announcements over the tannoy. Which is every ten seconds on SouthWest trains.

With Logitech’s new wireless speakers and your own pre-recorded sound files, you can relay an endless stream of spoof tannoy messages from the comfort of your seat, if you secrete the Z515 gizmo somewhere around the carriage.

Of course, that’s not exactly the purpose this neat speakers pod is designed for – ostensibly, it’ll link up with your iPad, iPhone or laptop, at a distance of up to 50 feet, and give you stereo sound in a portable package wherever you want to take it. But bringing a bit of colour to the drab morning commute is surely as good a use to put it to as any.

Nick Booth edits www.mobileb2b.co.uk