EyeTV Netstream DTT review

The EyeTV Netstream DTT from Elgato lets you watch Freeview channels around the house on any Mac or PC via a robust home network, wired or wirelessly. The advantage of this is simple; you no longer have to rely on often-underpowered desktop aerials for reception. According to Elgato, traditional USB 2.0 DVB-T receivers are susceptible to ‘dead spots’, so reception can never be optimal in every location within a room.

Hooked up to a roof aerial and routed around the house, reception on a variety of desktops and laptops was exceptional, certainly better than streaming content online. Setup, despite initial fears, was simple and intuitive, helped by the user-friendly EyeTV 3 software and handy Assistant. The EyeTV 3 software offers a range of features for recording in lossless quality, editing and archiving TV, which should ensure you never miss your favourite programmes.

A full quota of Freeview channels appeared on our MacBook and with two tuners you don’t all have to watch the same channel around the home. An EPG offering two weeks of channel listings is provided, free for the first year at least, by tvtv, which can be viewed without opening your browser. The actual Netstream device is stylish, small and light, capable of being left unattended anywhere you choose.

If you live on your own or reside in a studio then the Netstream will probably seem like overkill. Equally, if you have a house full of viewers, you may find yourself fighting over channel choice. At £230 it’s also a more serious investment than Elgato’s range of DTT TV Tuner sticks. Elgato notes performance may be limited by network bandwidth and, sadly, the Netstream doesn’t support the recently launched Freeview HD.

OUR VERDICT

The EyeTV Netstream DTT tuner is a more niche solution than Elgato’s popular DTT TV tuner sticks, but in the right environment it’s an ideal device for extending your viewing pleasure around the home. No wires, no fuss and as long as you start with a solid signal, picture perfect reception anywhere.

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