If you travel frequently with others, you might know the struggle of one needing to go to sleep, and another wanting to stay up and watch a little TV before settling down. You can only turn the TV up just a bit before it becomes a bother to somebody else.
Or, say you're somewhere with a bunch of TVs and want to tune in to just one broadcast. What can you do?
In these moments, the Tunity app is the perfect compromise. It lets the person who wants to watch television stream the TV’s audio right to their smartphone (and therefore into headphones), and allows their partner to fall asleep in silence.
At the gym, the app can be used to listen to what’s playing on TVs on the walls, without exclusively needing to be on a treadmill or standing bike.
If you’re at a noisy bar, Tunity can be used to actually hear the TV playing in the background, if you want to catch commentary on a game, or hear a breaking news report. In an airport, a TV can entertain you while you wait at your gate.
Much like LocalCast, Tunity also lets you hear any muted TV in your home, or lets you mute it so you can listen and others don’t have to while the video keeps playing. It’s a specific app, but as you can see from the above examples, it has quite a number of uses in everyday life.
Below, we explain more about how Tunity works, and how you can use it on your phone—and why you might want to. We also get into a few drawbacks, but overall, Tunity is a great app for listening to the many muted TVs in the world.
How to use Tunity on your phone
Tunity works by streaming TV audio from a broadcast into your smartphone. To use the app, you just point your phone's camera at the TV you want to hear, and let Tunity read the screen.
Tunity figures out what channel the TV is on, accesses that audio from the broadcast taking place and plays that audio into your phone.
This process can take a little while to kick in, which is why sometimes you’ll have a delay of 10 to 20 seconds before you hear anything in the app, even when you’re on the channel. But once it’s working, you are good to listen to the TV for as long as you want.
The app is very intuitive and easy to use. Getting the app to scan the TV for you is explained on the screen when the app is opened, and the controls are simple.
You just push the fine-tuning buttons to better sync the audio you’re hearing with the movement you’re seeing on screen. These buttons have greatly improved over the past few app updates, so you can get great, synced sound quickly and easily.
On top of being easy to use, the app is also totally free. That’s right, you can get Tunity right now, and listen to muted TV wherever you are. Just know, the app does have a few limitations, which you can read about below before you get it.
Things to keep in mind about using Tunity
LocalCast allows you to listen to television audio, but it can only do so from Chromecast devices. The app connects to those devices to give you sound, and pushes video and audio to different screens and speakers.
Because Tunity is pulling audio from broadcast signals, and not from whatever television you’re looking at, you can access audio from far more devices. The tradeoff is, Tunity can’t access every TV channel that exists.
It has access to 65 channels currently, including most major ones like CNN, TBS, TNT, Food Network, A&E and AMC. It also covers ESPN and three other ESPN channels, as well as many other sports networks.
So you can’t get audio from every single channel a TV might access, but you can get most of the major ones. Which is still really helpful (and less limiting than needing a particular kind of TV or device to sync to).
Another factor from accessing broadcast channels is, the app doesn’t really work with TiVo or DVR.
If you’ve recorded something and are trying to listen to it via Tunity later, it will keep playing audio from the live broadcast, not what you’ve recorded. So sadly, though Tunity works perfectly for live television broadcasts, you won’t be able to skip past commercials with your audio.
The last thing to really keep in mind is, because the app can take a few seconds before audio starts playing, if you like to channel surf, you might find it takes a bit longer than you’re used to. You won’t hear anything if you keep flipping, and if you wait until you can hear, your quest to find something to watch will be delayed.
This is a very specific problem for an app with an already very specific purpose. For many, it probably isn’t a drawback at all. But it’s something to keep in mind depending on your TV watching habits, even if it’s a minor concern.
Most of these factors are fairly minor in the grand scheme of things. Tunity lets you watch TV basically anywhere, as public TVs are very likely going to be on major networks, and it syncs incredibly well with all audio. What few delays there are can be corrected quickly within the app.
Accordingly, whether you’re at a casino, a university, or even if you’re just hard of hearing and headphones help you listen to TV better, Tunity is the app for your TV audio needs.
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