For those after a feature-rich TV tuner, this is an elegant and powerful solution
Can digitise analogue sources
Includes Toast 8 Basic for burning DVDs
Receives both digital and analogue
Year's subscription to tvtv.co.uk
Export to Apple TV, iPod and iPhone
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Despite competition from Equinux in recent years, Elgato remains the natural choice if you want to add a TV tuner to your Mac. Not only is the accompanying EyeTV software powerful, slick and flexible, but the company has a wide range of TV tuner solutions to fit any budget.
The latest addition to the range boasts the ability to receive both analogue and digital TV broadcasts, but, unlike products such as the EyeTV Hybrid, the EyeTV 250 Plus has its own encoder. This not only means that the burden on the host Mac's processor is reduced, but that it's possible to connect up other devices and digitise the content from them.
Typically, this means plugging in a VHS system or analogue camcorder and using the VHS Assistant to help you set up and capture these old tapes to your Mac's hard disk. You could also use it to pipe video in from a set-top digibox or satellite receiver.
Whether you're recording digital terrestrial broadcasts or using the EyeTV 250 Plus's hardware encoder to digitise analogue TV or other analogue sources, EyeTV usually saves to MPEG-2.
This is the native format for DVD, so using the bundled Toast 8 Basic, you can burn stuff to DVD without having to re-encode your video. It also includes a remote control and a breakout cable that adds Composite and S-Video and audio (RCA) inputs.
Though not without room for improvement, the software that enables you to record, pause and rewind live TV is superb, and the inclusion of a year's subscription to the electronic programme guide tvtv.co.uk - which enables you to browse and schedule recordings online or via a mobile - very welcome indeed.
If you don't need to digitise analogue content, the cheaper EyeTV for DTT or Hybrid would do just as well. But, despite the price, this is a fine piece of kit.
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