Elgato Launches EyeTV HD DVR for Apple Macs

--System Can Be Used to Stream Live and Recorded TV to Apple iPad

Elgato, the San Francisco- and Munich-based company behind EyeTV, a TV solution for Mac computers (note: last fall, the company launched a TV placeshifting application for the iPhone/iPod touch--see the article published on itvt.com, September 30th), on Monday announced EyeTV HD, which it bills as "the world's only DVR solution which provides full access to premium cable or satellite TV content on a Mac." According to the company, the solution allows customers to watch, record and edit cable and satellite programming on their Mac in HD, including all their premium channels; and includes a "unique" dual-format capture mode that records in iPad and iPhone formats at the same time, thus allowing users to stream live and recorded TV to an iPhone or iPad using an optional EyeTV app.

Features and benefits claimed by Elgato for EyeTV HD include:

  • Easy set-up: the company says that users simply connect EyeTV HD to the outputs of their cable or satellite receiver with the included component cables, and to their computer via USB, and then position the included infrared channel changer cable nearby. A software set-up assistant then takes them through a simple configuration process, the company says.
  • Unique dual-format capture mode: the company says that this enables "super-fast" exports to iTunes from EyeTV, and also allows users to stream live TV, including HDTV, to the iPad or iPhone using the optional iPhone/iPad app.
  • High-quality digital TV recordings: the company says that EyeTV HD records in the H.264 format, which delivers "beautiful image quality and a superb compression ratio," thus producing smaller file sizes when compared to MPEG-2 recordings. H.264 can match the best possible MPEG-2 quality at up to half the data rate, the company says.
  • The ability to capture standard- and high-definition video from both analog and digital sources, such as a VCR or a camcorder. EyeTV HD includes component inputs for HD sources, as well as S-Video and composite inputs for standard-definition sources, the company says, adding that users can "simply connect the video source to your computer using the included breakout cable, then watch and even record the picture on your computer as an EyeTV recording."
  • Toast Basic disc-burning software, allowing users to archive content on discs.
  • EyeTV 3.4 TV software for the Mac. According to the company, the software allows users to watch, pause and rewind live TV; search a program guide using multiple criteria, and record one show or create Smart Series Guides to record the entire season of a TV series (note: EyeTV 3.4 includes a year of free data from TV Guide, with optional renewal for $19.95 per year, Elgato says; Smart Series Guide functionality requires a TV Guide subscription); and edit recordings and share them with other Macs on a network.

EyeTV HD is available on Elgato's Web site and from the Apple Store at $199.95. Its system requirements, according to the company are a Macintosh with a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better, Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later, 2GB of RAM, and a built-in USB 2.0 port; a cable or satellite receiver with analog video and audio outputs (component output is required for HD); and an Internet connection (for downloading program guide data).

North America