Elgato Netstream DTT networkable TV tuner
Freeview, streamed across your home network
The NetStream DDT has a 100Mb/s port, which I connected to the router through a pair of Devolo Powerline Ethernet adaptors. The clients connected to the router over 802.11n Wi-Fi. The Elgato box isn't wireless. But, neatly, it can be wall-mounted.
Harking back to the Slingbox comparison, what I missed with the Netstream was mobile device support. The Mac-based EyeTV will stream to Elgato's £3 iPhone app, but you need to keep the machine running and is no use if you're a Windows user.
This is because the iPhone app can't yet decode the MPEG 2 stream from the tuner. Elgato says it will do soon - expect more news on this when the iPad finally debuts over here.
Elgato wants £230 for Netstream DTT, which is a lot. If you have a Freeview set-top box or DVR, you can network it with a Slingbox Solo for just £130, though you'll only be able to feed one client at a time. Ditto the £200 Slingbox Pro, which has a tuner of its own and an array of extra video input ports. Yet the antenna-only Elgato box delivers much better picture quality that the Pro does.
The Netstream DTT is pricey, and if you're buying purely for personal use, you can get a cheaper, single-client streamer from Sling Media. The downside is the Slingbox's reduced picture quality. You pays your money, you takes your choice. The big question is whether you want to invest in a new tuner that doesn't do Freeview HD. ®
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