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on March 7, 2015
Works great !
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I can non-longer use it because Verizon is a monolithic power over what we do in our home. They impeded my use of it. One day freedom will return when competition will gain a foot hold on the cable industry.
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on January 12, 2014
I have had this unit for a while and use it all the time as a DVR on my MacPro. One HD is dedicated to this device. You can record, watch, send to itunes and watch on an apple TV in another room. The software lets you seamlessly send to itunes. I renew the television guide once a year for 19.95 and it works just like the cable companies on TV guide. Click the show and select record and you are done. Very nice product. still used daily in 2014.
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on June 25, 2013
With the included EyeTV software, the EyeTV 250 Plus makes for a decent Mac-based DVR and AD video converter. Just don't expect it to last very long, especially if you keep it powered on all the time. My unit died just three months past the three year mark. My guess is that the unventilated case design just doesn't provide for enough heat dissipation, meaning that the components slowly cook themselves to death.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
Cut the cable and set up your own media center. You need a computer, an elgato eyetv, and a large hard drive. I was paying 170/ mo to verizon. Now I pay them 60/mo for fiber internet(fios) and have saved 110/ mo for the last 3 years! That's a savings so far of 4,000 dollars! DO IT!
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on December 16, 2012
I bought the Eye TV in an attempt to record Chargers games and playback on my TV. I know that the cable TV recorders work well, but I'm tired of being held hostage by the high monthly cost of cable boxes in every room and expensive cable bundles. Eye Tv works with Apple TV for playback, so it seemed like a promising solution. The recording part works okay on the computer, but haven't got playback to work smoothly yet on my TV. The resulting video is choppy at best. My nephew and I have spent a lot of time working on this. Even tried playback using airplay via a mobile device. No go. If we can't get it working, I'll try something like Simple TV.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2012
I purchased the Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus to fill the void left by the absence of an ATI All-In-Wonder TV/Video adapter I previously used in a Windows98 PC many years ago before switching to Mac. My main motivation for the purchase was the need to import NTSC VHS and 8mm video recordings into my Mac.

There are only two things I can think of that the Elgato unit doesn't do which the old ATI All-In-Wonder did:
...TV Tuner "Wallpaper" (live TV desktop background, which had an "Oooooh"-"Aaaaah" factor but was basically useless).
...Multiple Channel Thumbnail Display (kinda neat, but also kinda useless).

That being said, comparing the ATSC/NTSC Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus to an NTSC ATI All-In-Wonder is nearly insane. Back then, combining the TV Tuner with the PC's internal Video Adapter was practical because there was typically no external "user" I/O interface fast enough to otherwise get the job done. With fast external I/O such as the Mac world's FireWire and the more recent development of cross-platform USB2 has come the availability of units like the EyeTV which are much more versatile due to their portability alone.

I have not subscribed to a TV broadcast service since 1988, and the upgrade of our terrestrial TV broadcast system to digital/HD has been a monumental improvement. ...Combining a roof antenna with Elgato's EyeTV connected to an 8-Core MacPro with an HD display provides breath-taking television broadcast quality with no monthly subscription fees!

Granted, channels as such as HBO, SHO, MSNBC, TLC, etc. are subscription-only, yet with HDTV's ATSC comes not only superior video quality but also content-dedicated sub-channels offering 3 times NTSC's viewing variety (in the greater NYC area), as well as a detailed and informative program guide. In fact, TV subscription services such as Cable often reduce the High Definition video resolution so they can fit more channels in their signal or charge customers extra for the HD.

The Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus's backward-compatible NTSC capture inputs allow me to transfer my legacy video library into the digital domain. ...But the best part is that the Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus actually does a better job of presenting HDTV ATSC broadcasts than any of the set-top HD converter boxes I have used with my regular old TV sets; exhibiting less video latency, more reception sensitivity and better audio/video synchronization.

The EyeTV software includes a fabulous DVR, including plenty of scheduling and an on-the-fly "rewind" feature available during real-time viewing. (Besides a fast Mac, the main requirements for these features will be lots of fast and free hard disc space.)

Anyhow, as the saying goes... "Two Thumbs Up!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2012
I got this for my Mac, which was what it was made for originally. I have had nothing but joy and delight from this product. Since it is a little cigarette pack sized box (not just a little dongle), it was capacity to do its own processing, freeing your CPU for other tasks. I am able to record digital programs via outside antenna (probably also from rabbit ears) and bypass paying cable for free digital TV.

You can save the digital recordings on an external hard drive and accumulate a huge library without using DVD's. I recommend having a 2nd external drive to back up the recordings you want to keep.

The captions are excellent. All caption systems I have seen (other than computer based captions) like via DVD recorder or TV set lack caption permanence. There seems no way to know how much caption permanence a TV will have without buying it & trying it. With DVD recorder & TV set captions, once you pause, the captions stay in view for only a few seconds, say 4-10 seconds, then they disappear. With EyeTV & all computer based captions I have tried, the captions stay on the screen forever, as long as you pause the recording. Thus if you are trying to learn Spanish by freezing captions while you figure it out, the EyeTV is invaluable.

EyeTV also is the only computer based TV tuner system I know of that has both Spanish and English captions (you select the caption channel, of which there are 4 analog caption channels, 1-4; with CC 1 & CC 3 the only 2 I have ever seen used; one for English, the other for Spanish. So with some programs (as on Telemundo, NBC, or ION-Qubo) you can choose to see either English translation or Spanish via the menu. Unfortunately, they have not yet made it possible to see both languages at once, which would help. To see both languages at once, you have to have 2 tuners & put them both up in separate windows at once on your computer monitor.

You can take a recording on VHS or DVD and pipe it into the EyeTV box with cables, RCA or S-Video, and record it into your computer with this box.

I have had this box & software now for several years having nothing but excellent success, both with broadcast TV, cable, & QAM cable. When you buy, pay attention to model number and get 250 Plus, not mere 250 if you want QAM.

I have had a problem in using this at the same time as HDHOMERUN. HDHOMERUN has dual tuners. Thus with 3 tuners, I can bring up 3 windows of different TV channels at the same time. Unfortunately, the system spontaneously stops working after a few minutes whenever I do this. However, I don't think it has ever stopped recording when I recorded from this configuration. I went round & round with both EyeTV and Silcon Dust (HDHOMERUN) on this, jumped through their hoops, & never got that problem solved. I think I have always had success when I was recording from a DVD player into the EyeTV box and simultaneously recording off the broadcast via the HDHomeRun.

Probably the greatest convenience is to be able to stop making DVD's and just buy external hard drives.

One disadvantage of the EyeTV vis-a-vis a hard drive / DVD recorder (like Pioneer or Magnavox) is that if you record on a Hard Drive Recorder, you can play it back into 2 different TV's at the same time (2 monitors using 2 different outputs from the Hard Drive Recorder). Then you can set one TV monitor to show CC 1 & the other to show CC 3 thus having 2 TV's beside each other, one showing Spanish captions & the other English. Good for saving dictionary time in language learning. EyeTV will not give you a picture output to 2 monitors. However, if you have 2 tuners, you can show 2 windows on one big TV monitor with a similar result.

If you are not satisfied with the number of TV channels you are getting, the issue could be your antenna. Antennas have to be pointed broadside towards the TV station. The EyeTV has a signal strength bar-graph meter to help you point your antenna. Where I live almost all the antennas are on a hill on one side of town. So I have my roof top antenna (on a mast) pointed towards that hill with great results. I also use an RF amplifier in the attic hooked to the antenna feed, which amplifies the signal to go to my EyeTV tuner. If you have TV stations scattered around, you probably won't get them all, unless you have an antenna rotor. That is not the fault of EyeTV.

I also have the Hybrid EyeTV model, which seems about the same, except it has no internal computer processor as the 250 Plus does. With the Hybrid I just use a powered rabbit-ear antenna in the middle of the house. I can turn the antenna to point it towards the TV stations. However, with the antenna pointed in one direction (towards that hill), I get all the channels I want to watch. While the pointing is critical, I have no problem with that setup.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
This unit worked okay from April 2010 to February 2012. At that point the software quit correctly communicating with TV Guide and I lost part of the program schedule. Eventually all of it disappeared. Elgato's Tech Service was very responsive at first and worked with me on the problem for a couple of weeks or so. They couldn't solve the problem and just quit communicating with me. No "We can't find the problem". No "Here is a new software disk to try". Just no response at all. My system is still workable by going to the cable company's program guide and manually scheduling recordings but it doesn't work as advertised.

Another problem I have that I have not worked with Elgato on is that my iMac will lock up after finishing a recording and I have to to shut it down and restart it to get it to function again. At least for me, the much praised Elgato software has problems that Elgato hasn't fixed. Hopefully, there is an update in the future or, better yet, Apple will develop a live TV tuner and DVR. What Apple sells does work.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
This is my second Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus Digital/Analog TV Receiver and Video Converter. It really is simple and works great - for as long as it works. In both cases it worked great, and then one day the blue light went dead and it quit working. Both units were less than a year old.
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