Feeds
75%

Elgato EyeTV Diversity dual-tuner digital TV dongle

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Switching from two tuners to one, combined tuner certainly made an difference, even in Reg Hardware's TV-unfriendly office. Signal strength went up a little, but signal quality rose much more significantly, as the Diversity was better able to separate signal from noise. But even on the many of best channels, the signal quality madly oscillated between 60 per cent and 80 per cent, sometimes dropping to 40 per cent, so while I was able to pick up channels that were unobtainable using the Hybrid's single digital tuner, they weren't really watchable.

elgato eyetv diversity connectors

FilmFour, alone, yielded a signal quality of 100 per cent. Removing either of the antennae saw that number drop down to 60-80 per cent, but the signal strength was sufficient to maintain a decent picture throughout.

Away from the office, the results were much better, not only with higher signal strength and quality figures, but also - and perhaps more importantly - a higher number of stations spotted when the initial scan was performed.

But it's still not ideal. Yes, using two portable antennae was better than using one, but it's not a patch on connecting the tuner to a single, decent TV aerial, for example. And I found that, sitting at my kitchen table, I got the best reception if I held up the two bundled antennae, arms outstretched. It made for a better picture, but not one that was comfortable to watch.

elgato eyetv diversity

And here's an interesting point. I tried the Diversity at home a few days later and actually got a worse signal in combo-tuner mode than I did switching to two tuners. To be fair, that's an exception, and centred on a single multiplex. The point is, the Diversity's improvements notwithstanding, a lot still depends on your locale.

Elgato claims the Diversity's good for picking up digital TV in a car travelling at 160kmh. I wasn't able to test that, but I'd be surprised if it would work in the UK - Elgato carried the test out in Germany, where I suspect, digital TV is broadcast on a stronger signal than it is here. That's unlikely to change until 2008 when the analog broadcast shut-down begins.

Unlike the Hybrid, the Diversity lacks a video-in capability, so you can't connect it to other devices and view them through your Mac. There's a lot to be said for a twin-tuner module as the foundation of a PVR, but since the Diversity's second antenna doesn't connect using co-ax, you're not going to be able to split the signal from your main aerial to feed both of your Diversity's tuners. That, in short, makes it less than helpful as a device to plug into the back of a Mac Mini media centre.

Verdict

Elgato's EyeTV Diversity does improve terrestrial digital TV reception for Mac users on the move, but here in the UK, the improvement isn't all it could be thanks to Freeview's relatively weak signal strength. And while the twin-tuner product might make a good Mac media center component, that's spoiled by a non co-ax secondary antenna port. The Diversity is a nice product, but for Brits its appeal is limited. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

75%

Elgato EyeTV Diversity dual-tuner digital TV dongle

The Diversity can deliver better digital reception, but with Freeview it's not a certainty...
Price: €150 (£101) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?