MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2008 (#36)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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106 MacDirectory REVIEW | VIDEO With the addition of video capabilities to the hugely appealing iPod Nano, the demand for portable video content is at an all-time high. Thanks to the EyeTV products from Elgato powerful, user-friendly solutions are available that enable consumers to grab video from cable, satellite and other sources and output it in formats suitable for the iPod, iPhone, AppleTV, DVD, Video CD, PSP, and more. The newest addition to this lineup is the EyeTV 250 Plus, which provides the combination of a digital and analog tuner, a DA converter and an all-in-one software- based recorder, scheduler and library. It supports a variety of connections, including coaxial, SVGA and RCA and it offers support for cable, satellite, and HDTV, as well as WiFi for the iPhone or iPod Touch. The EyeTV application provides an all-in- one solution for viewing TV listings, scheduling, recording, editing out unwanted content, multiplexing, and video playback. The inclusion of Roxio's® Toast 8 Basic adds the capability of outputting video to DVD and video CD. Control is handled onscreen or via an included hardware remote. Setup is an easy task. Install the software, connect the hardware, and then enter your zip code and TV provider information. TV listings are available by signing up for a free account at Once the listings have downloaded you can go to the channels pane and specify any of which that you do not wish to appear in the program guide. You can also set preferences for the frequency at which the listings are updated from the Web. Recording is easy as well. Just call up the program listing and click on the desired program. This inserts the item into your list of scheduled recordings. Double-click on the item to specify preferences for that item, such as recording duration, repeat recording of episodes, editing the synopsis, and sending the result to an AppleTV or iPod. If you need to convert your VHS library to digital, just connect a VCR, pop in a tape and the video stream appears in a window (floating or full-screen). Click on the record button on the remote and off you go. The item then appears in your recordings list. Then, either during recording or afterwards, you can enter the title of the video and a description. Basic tools are provided for selecting and deleting unwanted content. You can also use the edit tool to navigate to a desired frame that will appear in the recordings list as the poster frame. Playing back a recording is as simple as double clicking on the item in the list. Converting a recording for output in various formats can take a while, particularly in the case of full-length movies. You might be able to speed things up a bit with an external application such as Compressor, but the EyeTV hardware/software combination does and excellent job and supports a good range of codecs, so nothing else is needed besides a bit of hard drive space. If you do much recording, space can become an important issue. The standard NTSC DVD spec calls for around 1.8 GB of storage per hour of video. A feature film can weigh in at 3 to 3.5 Gigs for the basic QuickTime version, plus you would need additional space for other formats, such as creating a DVD master for Toast. Fortunately, hard drive prices are at an amazing low, with a terabyte of external storage for around $350. Even so, plan ahead, particularly if you have a huge appetite for TV or a large VHS library to preserve. The EyeTV is an excellent and much more powerful alternative to TiVo®, as you can record from a variety of sources and take your movies and shows with you wherever you go, either on your laptop, iPhone, iPod or 3rd generation Nano. It is easy to set up and use and, as you can create unlimited content virtually for free, it will give new life to those AppleTVs by freeing them from the iTunes Store. It is a great product that will pay for itself many times over. ELGATO EYETV 250 PLUS > GRAB VIDEO WHENEVER YOU WANT Product EyeTV 250 Plus Made by Elgato Price $199 Pros Compact, powerful, easy to use, includes remote and Roxio® Toast 8 Basic Cons None Rating HHHHH WORDS BY TREY YANCY

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