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back to article Elgato EyeTV Sat

Last year we reviewed Elgato’s EyeTV 310 satellite TV tuner for Macs. It wasn’t a brand new product, but the launch of the Freesat service here in the UK meant that we were curious to see how the device would handle the new service – especially the HD broadcasts on the free-to-air BBC HD channel. Elgato EyeTV Sat Elgato's EyeTV …

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FAIL

Srsly

For that money, and with those shortcomings, and the fact you need your computer on all the time running an app to watch/record, this has to be an incredibly niche product.

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Hmmm...

Not a too bad price I guess. A PC version of pretty much the same thing can be bought for about £100 (see here: http://tinyurl.com/p9s6wh) which in fact looks pretty similar.

I guess really you're paying an extra £80 for the Mac software, drivers and support and no doubt online prices may shave another £30 off the retail price?

Looks like a nice little device, it's just a shame that Sky don't offer official cams so anyone with one of these boxes can decrypt Sky TV without having to have a Sky box etc (I know, it can be unofficially done).

All they need now is decent Linux support (which will no doubt come eventually from the Linux community) and I'd actually consider getting one.

Rob

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Anonymous Coward

Freesat guide

One correction - the Freesat guide isn't an MHEG-5 application.

I'm also surprised that you managed to record and replay ITV HD at all. As you say, this is accessible via a red button MHEG application but they also use the MHEG app to set custom video and audio PIDs on that stream. The EyeTV software won't know these PIDs, so it will have trouble playing them.

The moral to the story is - you really need a Freesat logo if you want Freesat features to work properly.

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more for less

@craig: Why buy it? As it says - for HD, and some people can't get terrestrial TV anyway, and the Foxsat HDR has a schizophrenic user interface. You can also watch (and probably record) multiple channels simultaneously on the same multiplex (BBC1 & BBC2, or all the different Wimbledon matches on the red button). Convenience feature not mentioned in the review - you can set it up to automatically convert recordings for iPod/iPhone/AppleTV. Unwatched episodes of your favourite series automatically appear on your iPhone. A few more DRM-free HD channels are coming.

@Rob Beard: We who get poor or no terrestrial reception were sold to Sky by New Labour when (unlike the rest of Europe) they allowed Sky DRM to bypass the CAM interface. Could it be something to do with The Sun changing sides to support NuLab in the previous election? (Sky's market success is down to a fully interlocked web of proprietary bits (sport/DRM/EPG/set top box/broadband etc) that catch a wide range of viewers).

My better way to buy this: Terratec Cinergy S (same hardware) 100 Euros; EyeTV DTT £50 (view/record digital terrestrial simultaneously with the satellite), includes the full Mac software and TVTV subscription. Save £40 too.

It's almost very good. (The stitching up of satellite EPG's to keep them from EyeTV is a real annoyance, and access to the freeview EPG is the main advantage of the DTT dongle).

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Re: Sleepy

OFF TOPIC but no-one is forcing people without terrestrial to subscribe to sky. I live in an area with bugger-all terrestrial and I've been on the sky freesat service for the best part of a decade. £80 for a Pace skybox and £10 for a card from Sky gets you about 200 channels (of complete crap) with no monthly subscription. I like a paranoid conspiracy theory as much as the next bloke but the option is there if you want it...

ON-TOPIC I'm obviously missing something because the description makes this sound like the worst kind of crap imaginable - for £180????

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Boffin

Re: Freesat guide #

ITV HD is just another channel so you can tune into like like anything else as long as you know the frequency.

As far as I remember from the last time I used Eyetv, it shows up as a radio station in a channel scan so you need to manually edit the channel list configuration file to make Eyetv recognise it as a TV channel. Once you have that though, you can just add it to your channel lineup like anything else.

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@Bassey

"no-one is forcing people", but the playing field is anti-competitively tilted in Sky's favour.

It's true "Freesat from Sky" has been available since 2004 (2 years after Freeview launch). But it's still DRM locked; if you have a Sky Plus PVR, you must pay £10 a month per box to be allowed to use its recording feature, and you can't buy a box from anyone else, let alone a PVR box.

Neither Freesat from Sky nor Freesat nor EyeTV is a completely satisfactory answer.

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