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It is a way to watch Digital TV (Freeview) on your apple computer or laptop. (Macbook, ibook, or macbook pro)
It has access to all of the freeview channels you would normally receive on any freeview package/box. The amount of channels you receive will of course depend on the strength of coverage in your area.
It features a digital tv guide, rewind TV, recording, and scheduled recording of programs.
A tv remote is included which is silver and quite ugly to be honest, but it does the job.
First off, you run the installation disc on your computer, this will direct you through the installation process. It will instruct you to plug in the USB stick, which itself will be attached to one of the provided aerials.
You get an outdoor and an indoor aerial with the product. I only use the indoor aerial as the coverage isn't too bad in my area. If you find that you don't receive many channels, i would advise you to use the larger outdoor aerial and re-install.
I hope i haven't over-complicated the process - it is a very simple installment with instructions i promise!
I bought the eyeTV Diversity from the Apple UK website (store.apple.com/ukstore) for £89.95 - You could probably find it elsewhere a bit cheaper. I know amazon have had them in the past, and they are still more expensive than on the apple website.
I have used apple in the past and when i have had a problem with any product - their customer service is fantastic, so when buying something new which i am not certain about - i know from past experiences, a return and refund will go through without a hitch.
Elgato have a wide range of TV receivers, with lots of mixed reviews.
There is one in the apple store at the moment which is £49.95 but as a matter of habit, i don't generally go for the cheapest option. Plus the reviews were better with the Diversity model.
The highest price Elgato in the Apple store is £229.95 which is the 310 firewire version. (very expensive!)
I have quite a small bedroom so i wouldn't have a television simply because of the space it would consume. I didn't mind, as i have one in my living room, but sometimes when living with other people its not always possible to get your channel of choice!
I just happened upon the Elgato USB sticks, i can't remember how exactly but i am always browsing through the apple store so it could have been accidental. I found them anyway, and really liked the idea of being able to watch Tv on my Macbook, whenever i wanted to - and found the idea of being able to put it away again after appealing.
As it turns out, the aerial is very small and hidden by my curtain, and the USB stick is also very compact and unobtrusive so it is never put away now anyway!
I think the reason for there being so many mixed reviews about these products is more down to the signal and coverage in your area, rather then the actual quality of the product. If you have a quick read of the reviews on the apple website, you will see this pattern emerge.
I personally live in a town centre and the coverage is fine. I don't feel the need to use the larger outdoor aerial as the 25+ channels i have are adequate enough for me.
The picture is brilliant, but that is more down to the wonderful machine i use ;)
and sometimes there is interference on certain channels but usually moving the aerial around will rectify this.
I did try to use the scheduled recording facility but i have given up as it only part recorded some of the programs i wanted to watch. I think it might have something to do with the amount of space on my hard disc though so i won't use this against them.