Elgato’s EyeTV HD for iPhone and iPad Review

By on Oct 26, 2010 at 8:05 am

iPhone or iPad owners who would like to take their cable or satellite programs on the go will want to check out the very latest offering by Elgato, the EyeTV HD. This device, once hooked up to your cable box or satellite receiver, allows you to watch and record TV programming on your Mac, which can then be converted for playback on both the iPhone and iPad.

Elgato’s EyeTV HD is a small silver TV tuner/DVR box with a built-in H.254 encoder for your Mac, when combined with the included EyeTV software, allows you watch and record TV shows into your hard drive. This tiny piece of hardware provides a feature which enables it to record in both iPhone and iPad formats at the same time, allowing for fast exports into your iTunes library, so you can watch your favorite shows in no time. The package also includes an infrared remote and batteries to make it convenient for you to control your cable box or satellite receiver with a push of a button.

Set up was amazingly fast and easy. Everything you need to get you up and running has been provided for you. Simply connect the EyeTV HD to your cable box, or in my case, my DISH DVR satellite receiver, using the included component cables and connected to my MacBook Pro via USB. Install the EyeTV software (CD) into your Mac and let the EyeTV software setup assistant guide you along through the rest of the setup, including selecting the correct provider to download the very latest TV Guide programming guide, which is provided to you at no cost for the first year. An annual subscription fee of $19.99 will take effect once your first year is up.

Once installed, you may begin to watch live TV on your Mac, go through the programming guide to set up recordings, or if you’d prefer, manually record a show currently on. You may record from both local and paid premium channels, such as HBO, Cinemax and Showtime into your Mac, which can be set up to automatically convert and export shows into your iTunes library for playback in both the iPhone and iPad platforms. The same software can also be used to trim and edit out all those pesky commercials that get in the way. All EyeTV recordings are not restricted to H.264 conversions. Recordings can also be converted into many popular formats which include Windows Media, DivX and works well in conjunction with Toast 10, to archive old recordings.

This is a processor intensive program, so make sure your Mac meets all of the system requirements when considering the EyeTV HD. In fact, it took me several tries, shutting down all other running processes to ensure a good, clean conversion into my iTunes folder before getting it right. For $199.95, it is a great investment for the price which, in due time, will eventually pay for itself. Just imagine about how much money you’ll be saving by recording your own shows, instead of having to pay for season passes on iTunes.

Elgato’s EyeTV HD for iPhone and iPad comes highly recommended to TV fans everywhere. The device is an invaluable piece of hardware that delivers. Video quality is high, on point and provides many conversion options to choose from. EyeTV HD can be purchased for $199.95 directly from Elgato or by going to any of their resellers which are listed by location on their website.


Note: A product sample was provided by the manufacturer for use in this article.

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