Feeds
75%

Elgato EyeTV Diversity dual-tuner digital TV dongle

When one antenna won't do, use two...

The essential guide to IT transformation

Review Elgato's made-for-Mac EyeTV Hybrid analogue and digital TV tuner is an impressive add-on for a media centre, but it runs into trouble when you take it out on the road. The UK's terrestrially transmitted Freeview digital network isn't broadcast as powerfully as it could or should be, and the Hybrid's tiny antenna has a job picking it up. Not one to ignore an opportunity, Elgato's come up with a solution: the EyeTV Diversity, a digital-only USB dongle with two aerials...

The Diversity contains two tuners and circuitry that allows it to combine the signals coming in on both antennae to improve the reception. And if you happen to find yourself in a strong signal area, the extra tuner's not wasted: you can use it as a separate receiver, allowing you to watch one digital channel while recording another.

elgato eyetv diversity connected up

Like the EyeTV Hybrid, the Diversity is about the size of a large USB Flash drive. In fact, the two devices are almost entirely identical. There's a USB connector on one end of the Diversity and a co-axial antenna socket on the other. One one side is a tiny connector for the second aerial - it looks like the external antenna sockets you see on many mobile phones - and round the other side is an infra-red pick-up for the remote control Elgato bundles with the tuner.

The snag here is that the Diversity has to be fitted into a USB port on the left-hand side of your computer if you want to be able to use the remote - though if the back of the Mac's close enough to a wall you may get sufficient reflection for the remote's signal to reach a rear-facing IR port, if you have to plug the Diversity into a different port. And your free USB ports are on the back of the Mac, you'll have to use a USB extension cable. Elgato bundles one, but it's hardly an elegant solution.

Fortunately, like the Hybrid, the Diversity can be controlled using Apple's Mac Remote through Elgato's EyeTV application and its Front Row-like full-screen mode. Elgato's remote, despite its looks, isn't Freeview-friendly. The red button, for example, doesn't call up digital TV interactive features, it just activates the Diversity's picture-in-picture facility, with the other coloured buttons flipping windows, popping up the on-screen controller and so on.

elgato eyetv picture-in-picture
Click for full-size image

Picture-in-picture requires the Diversity to be set to dual-tuner mode, set in the EyeTV application's Preferences panel. PIP also requires a Mac with 64MB of video memory. Since I reviewed EyeTV in September 2006, it's been updated a little, primarily to add the picture-in-picture facility, and to fix some bugs, so it's a worthwhile update if you already have an Elgato product. That goes double if you also own one of the revised 5G iPods Apple announced in September 2005 - EyeTV's iPod-friendly video converter will not produce 640 x 480 movies as well as the original 320 x 240 setting.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?