EyeTV 200

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, January 24. 2005

I've had an Elgato Systems EyeTV 200 for a bit over 2 months now, and I'm finding it more and more indispensable. If you are unfamiliar with the EyeTV line, think of them as TiVo for the Mac. I spend a lot of time in my home office, and although I'd run a cable drop to it, I never really had the real estate to put in a TV. Even when I would use a small TV (which we would take on trips), I found it more of a distraction than a benefit, since I needed to turn this way to see the monitor and that way to see the TV... It just took too much time away. I needed to be able to watch TV on the monitor, just as I would have a DVD running in the background in a small window. It was that capability that first made the EyeTV look so attractive. The ability to also record with it was a nice "added extra." Still, it seemed quite an expensive solution, so I hesitated in buying one until last October, when I was able to buy one heavily discounted. The EyeTV 200 is a Firewire drive, so the throughput is quite fast, resulting in a very nice and clear picture. But even more importantly is the recording quality, which is fantastic. I find myself using the unit more and more as DVR, burning DVDs for trips and the like. That is the coolest feature of all. My youngest son loves the SpongeBob DVDs I've made for him, and I find myself creating my own Law and Order episode set. The drawback, of course, is that the Mac needs to be up and running for the recording to happen, and you chew up diskspace like a sonofagun. I bought a nice 160gig Firewire drive and use it exclusively as my EyeTV archive. Still, it's quite a nice little device. It does exactly what it claims to do, and exactly what I want it to do. Can't get much better than that.

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