The hapless PC character in Apple’s adverts didn’t have too many comebacks to the Mac’s smug posturing, but something he might have raised in his defence is the huge number of TV tuners available for Windows machines.
Okay, it’s not the most important feature to consider when buying a computer, but Mac users really only have one way to turn their laptop into a TV – Elgato’s eyetv.
Setting the system up is simple enough. The Elgato tuner comprises of a USB stick and an accompanying CD – you just pop this into your CD drive and copy the Eye TV icon to your applications folder. Be warned though – you’ll have to have OSX 10.4 for the eyetv to work.
The configuration process only takes a few minutes, but we found that the eyetv struggled to find the available Freeview stations. Eventually, after positioning our MacBook at the highest point in Stuff Towers, we finally managed to lock onto the Freeview signal.
Eye can see clearly
The channels that we tuned into were served up with clarity and precision. The eyetv will also work with your Apple remote and you can connect to the tvtv EPG, which lets you set recordings remotely via a website.
Our overriding impression of the eyetv tuner, though, was tainted by its inability to lock onto a Freeview signal. This could well be solved by the forthcoming release of the Diversity twin-aerial version (priced at £115) but, for now, it’s really only a solution for deskbound Macs rather than for watching TV on the train.