It’s hard to think of a more blatant attempt to get in with the Mac in-crowd than Miglia’s TVMax+. Wearing a Mac Mini outfit and perfectly sized to sit underneath the mini computer, it claims to be the missing link between your Mac and Apple TV.
Made for Mac
This is because the box boasts a built-in analogue TV tuner. Connect an aerial straight to the machine and you can watch TV on your computer. As you’d expect, it’s Mac-compatible only.
The key to the TVMax+ deal is the box’s ability to record straight to your computer: you can pause, rewind and record the content you’re watching straight to the Mac daddy.
But that’s not all. It also lets you compress this content to iTunes-, iPod- and Apple TV- compatible resolutions, allowing instantaneous syncing to your Mac library and beyond.
The box will even give you options of ‘iPod best’ and ‘iPod good’ resolution, depending on your memory requirements. Hook up the S-Video and composite inputs and it directly captures DVD, VHS and camcorder and set-top box output.
Unfortunately the super-simple set-up is then let down by slightly unintuitive software. It’s not immediately obvious where your videos are, and we had to search around a bit to find the features we wanted.
Where our little Mac helper falls down the most, however, is in the lack of a digital tuner. Surely the owners of all this Mac gubbins are soon going to be bored by the limited range of analogue channels? Freeview would have an obvious and easy addition, we think, and the lack of component inputs and HDMI is limiting too.
There’s no doubting that the TVMax+ is an interesting and versatile product, but it feels unfinished. Just those few additions could really make it part of the cool Mac gang.