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EyeTV iPhone app briefly allows 3G video streaming

Elgato's EyeTV iPhone app briefly allows users to stream live video over a 3G network connection via a built-in back door.

Elgato's EyeTV iPhone app isn't supposed to allow you to stream video from a computer to your iPhone over a 3G connection, but a recently discovered backdoor exploit allows users of the app's first version to do so anyway.

Apple reacted to the news of the backdoor exploit by quickly pulling the app from the App Store on Saturday. Today, we found out that the app has been restored to the store and was briefly for sale again--an unusual occurrence in the App Store. Elegato's backdoor-free 1.0.1 version is now available in the App Store, disabling the exploit.

We asked Elgato about the backdoor and received this response from company representative David Fanning:

Some test code that enabled live TV streaming over the cellular network was accidentally left in the the EyeTV App. Apple requested that we remove the code, since their agreement with AT&T does not allow redirecting TV signals over the cellular network. The code was removed, and a 1.0.1 version of the EyeTV app was submitted.

Of course, anyone wanting to keep 3G streaming could skip the the update. Those who accidentally updated the app can also downgrade iPhone apps to regain the backdoor version.

Users can stream video over 3G by following these steps in EyeTV 1.0. Note, however, that by doing so, users may be violating AT&T terms of service, which CNET does not condone. Proceed at your own risk.

  • Make sure that Wi-Fi is currently turned off. Launch Settings. Tap Wi-Fi.
  • Wi-Fi networks - Off
  • Launch EyeTV on both your computer and your iPhone. Complete the following steps on the iPhone.
  • Tap the name of the computer you want to stream video from.
  • Enter your passcode if prompted to enter one.
  • Tap Live TV.
  • EyeTV Live TV
  • Tap a TV channel you want to stream.
  • The following message will appear--tap the text above the OK button to activate the backdoor.
  • Wi-Fi required for video streaming

EyeTV will now begin to stream live video over your 3G network connection.

Controversy over 3G video streaming lingers. The CNN iPhone app, for instance, can stream video about breaking news. It's not entirely clear why Apple and AT&T do not allow Elgato to offer the same feature.