Skip to main content

Miglia TVMini Express review

TV's rubbish these days - or is that just the poor signal?

The TVMini Express is one of a new breed of more wallet-friendly devices

Our Verdict

Does the job if you just want a simple way to watch telly, but there are much better options


  • Generous USB extension cable

    Easy to use

  • looks great


  • No way to schedule recordings

    Export functions are limited

    Other products offer more

    Requires high-spec Mac

While our Windows-using brethren have been enjoying cheap digital TV tuners for years, Mac-friendly versions are usually expensive.

The TVMini Express is one of a new breed of more wallet-friendly devices; at £40 it's still twice the price of some Windows models, but is £30 or so cheaper than EyeTV for DTT, the nearest equivalent from market leader Elgato.

However, while the products made by Elgato and its partners use the superb EyeTV software, the TVMini Express opts for the simpler The Tube. This is a pretty program that does a good job of handling basic TV watching, but it still lags behind EyeTV 2.4.

Our biggest complaint with The Tube is that it lacks an electronic programme guide. This not only makes it impossible to schedule recordings, but it's hard to get an idea of what's on TV now and next; The Tube has an overlay on each channel with this information, but there's no multi-channel overview.

There are other niggles, too. As soon as you install from the CD you're prompted to update the application, and even running the most recent version, the installer's splash screen is in German, suggesting a lack of care.

The update at least fixes some problems with the original release; channels can now be reordered to suit, and unwanted channels removed. More importantly, live TV can now be paused and rewound, and the new Déjà Vu function means you can record a show from the start even if you're halfway through watching it.

Recordings - still saved in an inaccessible proprietary format - can be exported to iMovie and to iPods and Apple TV, but the application itself lacks both EyeTV's handy editing system and its integration with Toast.

The TVMini Express is a decent choice if you just want a cheap, simple way to watch TV on your Mac, though an EyeTV-powered system is worth the extra money.