At MacWorld this week, Elgato announced the “release of EyeTV 2.0”:http://www.tuaw.com/2006/01/11/eyetv-2-released/. As a mostly happy user of an “EyeTV 410”:http://www.magpiebrain.com/archives/2005/03/27/macmini device (which I should really get around to reviewing one of these days) I was keen to grab a copy.

Bullet points for now – a more in-depth review may follow this weekend…

The Good

* Overhauled interface – EyeTV now looks more like an OSX application. The new UI also makes it easier to manage large numbers of TV programs
* Playlists – Should be handy, as it’ll help me separate out all those Lost episodes from the old Arena documentaries
* Integrated EPG guide – This works fairly well (compared to the web interface at least). EyeTV still uses “tvtv(tvtv.co.uk – Electronic Program Guide for the UK)”:http://www.tvtv.co.uk/ for the data and you can still schedule programs remotely via the web. There are some obvious improvements that can be made, but it’s not too bad for a first attempt.
* Automatic iPod export – haven’t played with this yet (not having an iPod Video) but this seems to allow you to automatically create iPod videos as you record TV programs. I wonder if other personal video players will be supported in the future?

The Bad

* It ain’t free – $49, or €49, and that is a time limited offer – afterwards it seems it’ll cost $79, which is pretty steep having already bought the external firewire box from Elgato
* Problems finding EPG data for some (newer) channels. More 4 for example has full listings on tvtv, but EyeTV 2.0 seems unable to find them, and even when manually configuring the EPG settings for it you can’t find the listings. Very annoying – seems like for some channels at least I’ll be sticking with the web interface.
* DVB Guide – which would be good, it it worked. It didn’t seem to on any of the channels I couldn’t get TvTv listings for (such as More 4)
* No support forums! Seriously, an amazing oversight in this day and age…

Streaming …

I’ve been using Andreas Junghans’ “CyTV software(CyTV – Network streaming for Elgato EyeTV)”:http://www.lucid-cake.net/cytv/index_en.html for streaming my EyeTV programs to other computers in the house. Given a good enough network, you can quite happily watch all your programs from the comfort of your own …well, where ever you fancy, given a laptop and a wireless network. Currently, EyeTV 2.0 is _not_ supported by CyTV 0.5.3, but it seems Andreas hopes to have a release out soon to address this.

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