Elgato EyeTV DTT Deluxe 'world's smallest' USB TV tuner
Smaller than a Flash drive
Review TV-on-Mac specialist Elgato's latest offering has two features it hopes will win over buyers: the MacBook Air-friendly size and its inclusion of the most recent digital video recorder software.
We think there's a third reason to buy: a superior aerial design. The Deluxe is tiny - smaller than any other USB TV tuner we've seen and quite a few USB Flash drives for that matter. Elgato's pitching the gadget at MacBook Air owners, who'll appreciate the fact that it fits into the skinny laptop's single USB port with room to spare.
Elgato's EyeTV DTT Deluxe: world's smallest TV tuner?
And because it's only extends 2-3mm beyond the width of the connector on either side, it doesn't block other ports, on the Air or elsewhere. Elgato's new EyeTV DTT is cheaper than the Deluxe - £40/€50 to £60/€80 - but it may still block block ports on a laptop and is somewhat larger.
At the far end from the USB connector, you'll find the antenna socket, and here Elgato's done us proud. It's aerial improvement all round. Bundled with the tuner is the customary antenna. But it's been enhanced with a pivot that allows you to tilt it from the vertical to the horizontal and all angles in between. As usual, it has a magnet in the base, but that's not always helpful, so Elgato has also bundled a clip on suction cup.
That's not all - Deluxe buyers also get a second antenna, a tiny telescopic job of the kind you'll seen on any transistor radio.
No bigger than a USB Flash drive
OK, so all TV tuners come with a least one antenna, so what's the big deal here? Well, we applaud Elgato for giving us a choice of aerial, but what really matters is that these new ones make for much better reception than the previous ones did.
Didn't think it would be long before someone came on for a moan. Not entirely surprised you can't spell it either: It's licence with a 'c', being a UK noun,
You pay plenty of tax for watching non-BBC programmes - every time you inadvertently buy a product which is advertised on them. They're not funded by some magic cash cow in the sky you know, but if you haven't got the imagination to realise this then be my guest, and carry on moaning about the TV licence.
Or, you could investigate Rupert Murdoch's tax avoidance schemes if you prefer.
I don't know the status of "standard broadcast" over there, but here all broadcast will be cut off in 5 months... I see no mention of HDTV reception on the device review... So...
As for "Is it coming out for real computers instead of the fisher-price versions?", for which presumably by "real computers" you mean PC's, well let me just say that I'd rather have a "fisher-price version" as opposed to having wasted four hours of my life at the weekend trying to get digital TV software working with a USB digital TV tuner dongle under Windows XP (and having to ultimately resort to a full reinstallation of Windows).
And the software didn't work properly when it was finally persuaded to display a picture, which was distorted due to (presumably) video driver problems, meaning I had to resort to using inferior third-party software or spend another three hours trying to configure open source PVR software.
Steve Jobs? Well of course...
Grrrrr, Freesat Memory Key
Got me all excited thinking they were doing a Freesat HD version of it then :(
I have an earlier version of the Elgato and only use it with a rooftop aeriel, but have to say it's the best TV app i've used on any OS.. very simple and easy to use, the company are excellent too, my unit developed a fault out of warranty but they repaired it FOC (cost me return shipping but hey..)
You could save even more money
You could avoid the TV licence fee, the price of a Mac, the cost of electricity to run MythTV and so on.
Just get an empty cardboard box and cut a hole in the front. An old coathanger makes an excellent pretend aerial, and an empty cigarette packet can be the remote control.
Simply take turns putting the box on your head and recreating your favourite programmes in the comfort of your own home. Hours of fun for all the family.
Normally I'd expect to be flamed for this, but I expect your keyboards are just made of cereal packets with the letters drawn on in marker pen.