Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus Mac TV tuner review

You love your computer, you love your TV, wouldn't it be great if the two could be married together in beautiful harmony? Well Elgato believes it has the answer with the Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus. But has it? We get channel hopping to find out.

The Elegato Eye TV 250 Plus is a number of things in one, it's a digital and analogue TV receiver together with a hardware encoder all in one small box.

Once plugged in and the software installed, it promises to deliver free-to-view digital television (DTT, or Freeview) to your Mac, as well as conventional analogue TV via standard cable or aerial.

If that wasn't enough it also boasts a hardware encoder for higher quality recordings and smaller sized video files and offers a complete solution for converting videos from VHS tape to DVD-Video thanks to Roxio's Toast.

In practice and it's as good as it sounds. The dedicated TV tuner software is simple and recording from it, if you've signed up for the optional tvtv Electronic Programme Guide, is just a click of a button away.

Sky+ lovers will enjoy the live pause function and we especially like the ability to export clips and content to your iPod, Apple TV and iPhone at the click of a button be it television you've recorded or footage you've grabbed from your camcorder or video.

As for the cables, they are all in the box, a helpful touch and there is even a remote control for the lazy.

Verdict

Easy to install and even easier to use this is a must for people looking to get content off the TV or a third source like a VCR.

The only catch we found is that the included aerial in the box is only good if you are in a very strong signal, but at least Elgato attempt to combat this by offering enough cable alternatives to help you out.

Top marks.