EyeTV NetStream Sat review
Elgato’s latest EyeTV device makes it easy to watch free-to-air satellite TV on your Mac, iPad or other iOS device (with the EyeTV app) anywhere in your home; in other words, your Mac doesn’t have to sit beside the satellite connection.
Setup is certainly quick and easy: simply screw your satellite dish’s coaxial cable into the binding post on the back. Make an Ethernet connection between your 802.11n WiFi router or Mac and then fire up the supplied EyeTV 3.5 software. This includes a wide range of satellite configs (including Freesat from Sky), all you have to do is tune into the receivable channels, including HD channels, and then watch whatever takes your fancy.
Another neat thing about the NetStream Sat and EyeTV combo is that it’s expandable: the software allows you to add up to four satellite TV feeds, although you’ll need to buy additional NetStream Sat boxes to do this.
The EyeTV software makes light work of watching and recording programmes with TV schedules pulled either from the DVB signal or by using the free one-year subscription to tvtv. The comprehensive nature of the software can be tricky to get to grips with at first, but you’ll soon be scheduling recordings and prepping content for viewing on your daily commute. The only obvious things missing are a Common Interface (CI) slot for PayTV programmes, or the ability to stream content over the internet to a Mac or iOS device being used away from home. Unlike other EyeTV tuners, the NetStream Sat also lacks a remote control, but you can use the virtual one on your Mac or the optional EyeTV software for iPhone and iPad instead.
When it comes to picture and sound quality, the NetStream Sat works fine – although standard definition broadcasts can look ropey on your Mac’s HD display. HD streams also have a tendency to stutter and drop out if you stray too far away from your router.
The NetStream Sat’s slick combination of hardware and software makes it easy to watch free-to-air satellite TV all over your home – as long as you’re aware of its obvious limitations.