I’ve had TV Tuners for my Mac for several years now. They were older tuners from Miglia and Elgato that were for my analog cable channels. They were handy to have on my Mac when I wanted to watch sports or news while I slaved away on my Mac, but I never used the recording software that came along with the tuners (EyeTV) because the analog picture was not worth recording. That has now changed.
Enter the new EyeTV Hybrid TV Tuner Stick for HDTV, Analog TV and FM Radio. That’s a mouthful, but it deserves every word of it. Now I can grab all the old analog channels from my cable and all the unencrypted Digital channels and the Clear QAM HD channels too. They all work together with the software so that I’m able to watch an HDTV channel and switch over to an analog channel and then back again from the on screen tuner. Best of all, I’m now able to record HD and digital channels with the amazing EyeTV software. A full-featured TV tuner on my Mac, finally.
First, let’s look at the hardware. The Hyrid comes with The EyeTV 3.0 CD and PDF product manual, The Hybrid Tuner stick, USB extension cable, Break out cable for composite, S-Video and Audio connections, and infared remote control with battery pack, and the quick start guide. It features a USB 2.0 interface for the streaming of superior quality, uncompressed TV content and requires no external power supply. EyeTV Hybrid has a standard cable coax connector and does not require an antenna adapter. EyeTV Hybrid can record from a cable or satellite set top box, video recorder or camcorder, using either composite or S-Video connections. In the US, additional support is offered for set top boxes. But the one thing that really impressed me was the HD picture on my 20 inch Apple display. Breath-taking. It’s drop dead gorgeous. It is so difficult to get any work done now with the HD picture filling the 20 inch display to my side, I will not even turn on the TV now until I’ve finished my projects.
The real secret to the Hybrid is the way it’s software, EyeTV 3, compliments and enhances it. EyeTV has always been the best TV software for the Mac in my book, and version 3.0 has really blown the competition out of the water. It’s unusual when you have a good hardware device that has a better software package and they work together so well. What makes EyeTV so good? I’m glad you asked.
EyeTV does so many things that I have to list them in order to keep from missing some of the important ones, so here’s the list:
* Watch TV on your Mac
* Rewind, fast forward, and pause live TV
* Search two weeks of Program Guide data supplied by TV Guide. Includes one year of free TV Guide data, which can be renewed for only $19.95 per year
* Record hours of television and edit out unwanted content
* Record an entire season with Smart Series Guides
* Organize recordings in Smart Playlists
* Export recordings into iTunes in one easy step & sync automatically
* Share recordings with multiple Macs in a local network
* Access recordings via Wi-Fi on an iPodÂ®, and iPhoneâ„¢ and selected SmartPhones
* Store your recordings on an external drive, or burn to disc using ToastÂ® Basic (included)
* Enable family-friendly viewing with Parental Controls
* Wake up/turn on your Mac automatically to record
* Navigate full screen TV with a mouse or remote using the On Screen menu
* Burn recordings to DVD with ToastÂ® Basic (included)
Are you sick of reading this feature list yet? There’s even more EyeTV can do. And I never even talked about the FM radio tuner built in.
With a retail price of $149.00, this is a great deal for anyone looking to get HD and digital programming on their Mac. Elgato has the secret formula, great hardware and great software working together to make a must-have Mac gadget. Man, I love to review gear like this, thanks Elgato.