Feeds
90%

Elgato EyeTV Hybrid USB TV tuner for Mac

All you need to make a Mac a media centre?

Application security programs and practises

Running the software for the first time involves the customary channel search. In Reg Hardware's notoriously TV-unfriendly office, I didn't find many, but at home the bundled antenna was able to pick up rather more, though by no means all, of the channels pumped out over the Freeview network. Removing the antenna and hooking up the feed from the aerial in my roof yielded the full, 75-strong list. Again, that's good news for the set-top Mac Mini users.

Whatever aerial you use, the channels EyeTV can detect are listed in the app's Channels pane. You can re-order the channels and uncheck ones you don't want to view when you're surfing through the list using the on-screen remote control.

Other panes include Program Guide, which provides a horizontally scrolling programme schedule. Elgato's bundled a year's subscription to the online EPG (electronic programme guide) TVTV, which will cost you £14.90 if you want to continue with it past year one. EyeTV will also pick up over-the-air EPG info it it's available. US- and Japan-specific online EPG services are supported too, and apparently the software supports remote scheduling instructions sent via your EPG services.

elgato eyetv hybrid digital and analogue usb tv tuner
Click for full size image

Adding a programme to your recording schedule locally is just a matter of clicking on it. EyeTV will extend the start and end times by up to 30 minutes to ensure you don't lose part of your programme because an earlier show has over- or under-run. You can record programmes on the fly using the virtual remote.

All the other customary DVR features - pause, rewind and fast-forward live broadcasts; a chase mode for watching recordings already in progress - are present and correct. You can set up any number of favourite-channel folders, each selectable from the remote control. And the software's smart enough to adjust the window size automatically to suit the broadcast aspect ratio. In all, it's very nicely done.

elgato eyetv hybrid digital and analogue usb tv tuner
Click for full size image

Recorded programmes are stored on your hard drive in an internal format that essentially packages the broadcast MPEG 2 stream with EyeTV-friendly metadata. You can extract the video data and play it in an app like VLC, but it's not ready as is for burning to DVD for playback on your living room DVD player. You can at least archive the EyeTV files, and the app ties in to Roxio's Toast, if you have it, to streamline the disc burning process.

Likewise, EyeTV will convert recordings into an iPod-friendly format, though not as yet to 640 x 480, the resolution introduced by the latest 5G iPods. Conversion complete, EyeTV even slots it into iTunes ready to sync across to the player next time you connect it.

The Power of One Infographic

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.