All these tuners connect to a USB 2.0 port, but that's not the only option available to MacBook Pro users: Terratec also offers the Cinergy T Express, an ExpressCard 34 tuner that makes for a less obtrusive add-on, and one you can leave connected to your laptop when when you're carrying it around. The Express uses a mini antenna socket, but Terratec bundles an adaptor so that card can take a standard co-axial aerial cable feed.
Terratec's Cinergy T Express: notebook-friendly
Terratec told us there's no substantial difference between the USB and ExpressCard tuners - offering two form-factors is more about catering to more buyers' requirements than delivering a more capable product. That said, the higher bandwidth provided by ExpressCard may prove advantageous in future.
Incidentally, owners of PowerBooks, with old-style PC Card slots, can avail themselves of Formac's Watchandgo.
Myth TV on MacMythTV is a very impressive, feature-rich open source DVR software package with a big, friendly user interface, and ever-expanding functionality that's seen the addition of game console emulation, weather look-up, video playback, CD ripping and more. It can do digital TV and HD.
Originally developed for the Linux operating system, it's since been converted to Mac OS X. Well, sort of. MythTV has two components: the front-end UI and a back-end that does all the heavy lifting. Right now, while the front-end code runs under Mac OS X in PowerPC, Intel and Universal forms, you'll need a separate Linux box to run the back-end software, which you'll need for recording, for instance.
While MythTV supports video capture from Firewire-enabled set-top boxes, it's limited to Linux-compatible TV tuner hardware, which pretty much means tuners on internal cards and not USB tuners.
So it's not a product for folk seeking an easy life; rather it's a tool for hackers looking to build a DVR or a networked media server out of an old PC.
Virgin Media and Elgato EyeTV 610 and
Minor correction to the article...
The EyeTV 610 does work with Virgin Media's DVB-C service in the UK (including the V+ HD broadcast). However, caution... using it won't be supported by Virgin Media! You also need a CAM... e.g. T-REX SuperModule 4.6
The Elgato EyeTV 610 can be ordered in the UK from the Elgato online store and, no, I don't work for Elgato.
There is an easier way
Get a spare Widows PC and set it up as a media server and then use the Mac as a dumb client. While there are some real world uses for a Mac (i have been told this, never seen one yet)
Mac's are just like a super car, nice to look at but rubbish to drive and useless for day to day use (just try speed bumps) where as you really can do anything with Windows PC and do it well
You can watch as many channels simultaneously as you want...
...if your CPU can handle it **and** if they are transmitted on the same frequency. What you can't do is watch two channels or more on different frequencies unless you have two tuners (e.g. the hybrid can record two different channels independently).