EyeTV 250 Plus Review

Even though Macs don’t come with TV tuners built-in (Apple would most likely prefer that you purchased your films and TV shows through its iTunes Store), third-party companies have come in strongly to fill the gap. One of the most successful is Elgato with its hardware and software EyeTV lines.

The latest addition, the EyeTV 250 Plus is a rather large box compared to the other members of the family, but it is still perfectly portable, measuring 104 x 64 x 29mm. This device is not only able to record live TV, including all Digital Freeview channels, it is also designed as help you digitise your old VHS collection (or any other device capable of being connected to the EyeTV via S-VHS or Composite cables). The reason for its larger size is because it has hardware encoders that help get you the best quality when converting your videos. It also means that you don’t have to rely on the latest Mac’s fast processors: an older machine with at least a G4 processor will work just as well.

However, even if you have an Intel Core 2 Duo Mac, it manages to improve the image quality, resulting in richer colours and blacker blacks when compared to the same footage captured with the EyeTV Hybrid (which uses your Mac’s processor to do the heavy lifting).

But where the 250 Plus really shines is in the software. EyeTV version 3 is a very powerful and incredibly easy to use application. It comes with a one-year membership to tvtv.co.uk, which is used to download the TV schedule. You can use it to set which programmes to record or just manually hit the record button. Best of all, if you’ve been watching a programme and wished you had recorded it to view again later, you can extract that recording from EyeTV’s buffer.

If your life is so busy that you don’t have time to watch everything you tape, you can export your shows
to your iPod. Better yet, if you own an iPhone or iPod touch, you can enable EyeTV’s WiFi Access mode and have that footage streamed to your portable device’s web browser via your wireless network.

OUR VERDICT

The EyeTV 250 Plus is an excellent device if you need to digitise analogue footage. Version 3 of the EyeTV application is a fantastic and versatile piece of software that lets you enjoy TV in new ways.

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