Eyes focused on January’s Macworld. The noise from iPhone drowned the AppleTV announcement.
Elgato’s EyeTV has a new partner to provide TV shows and TV movies for iTunes to push to AppleTV.
Do you like the idea of TV shows for $1.99 from the iTunes Store? Or would you prefer to record TV shows and TV movies on your Mac, send them to iTunes, then play them on TV through AppleTV?
We’re not there yet but the handwriting is on the wall. It’s coming. Soon. For now, there’s EyeTV.
Mac360 has long been a fan of Elgato’s popular and classy EyeTV digital video recorder.
Think of EyeTV as a simple TiVo for the Mac. The latest update of EyeTV’s software (the real gem in the product) adds iPod video format which reduces the size of a recorded TV shows or TV movies for storage and playback on in iTunes.
If you’re not familiar with EyeTV, take a close look. You would almost think the device is designed and built by Apple. It just works.
The various EyeTV video capture boxes are cable TV receivers which connect your cable connection to the Mac to record live TV. The software does the rest.
The rest is remarkabll easy. The setup turns your Mac, any Mac with Firewire or USB, into a digital video recorder. TV programs can be scheduled for recording and the saved files can be burned to CDs, DVDs, or played back on your Mac; either with EyeTV or QuickTime movie player.
See, this battle for media in the living room is shaping up and it looks like Apple might be a player after all. Microsoft is banking on the cumbersome and slow selling Windows Media PC and the Xbox live to control the living room.
Sony wants the portable Playstation to control the living room. Apple’s approach appears to be much and is tied to AppleTV and iTunes.
iTunes stores and plays back music and video; music videos, podcasts, TV shows, movies—it doesn’t matter if the come from iTunes Store or not.
Video from your cable connection can be captured and stored via a simple device like Elgato’s various capture devices, and EyeTV, which bills itself as a digital TV recorder with TV receiver and video converter.
Regardless, recording high quality TV shows and movies on your Mac is already here, just a bit expensive, not fully sanctioned, or absorbed, or reprocessed by Apple’s design team.
The trick is to capture TV shows and TV movies and get them converted to run in iTunes. That makes shows and movies available for iPods and AppleTV.
There’s been speculation that Apple would buy Elgato and incorporate the EyeTV and EyeHome devices into an Apple living room device. AppleTV is almost here and there’s no EyeTV in sight.
But no matter. EyeTV will record TV shows and TV movies on your Mac just like TiVo, then convert them to run in iTunes which makes them available for streaming to AppleTV.
Apple’s approach to the living room media battleground was once thought to be the Mac as the digital hub. No more. The true hub for TV shows and movies from your Mac is iTunes and AppleTV, Mac or Windows.
Until Apple decides to do live capture of TV, not expected any time soon, we’re stuck with the extra add on of an Elgato box to capture TV, and Elgato’s EyeTV to convert TV shows and movies for iTunes.
Elgato calls EyeTV and AppleTV a perfect match. That’s mostly true, because one without the other doesn’t do either justice.
Apple’s strategy is to charge for TV shows and movies. EyeTV captures them from your cable connection.
Getting media from EyeTV to iTunes is simple but time consuming as TV shows and TV movies have to be converted to a format iTunes is willing to stream to AppleTV.
We may long for the day when iTunes does all that automagically, but that day is not here. Yet.
In the meantime, we pay $299 for AppleTV, and from $150 for an EyeTV Hybrid, the lowest priced Elgato recording device. That’s $450. I’ve seen TiVo for well less than $100, so we’re deep into Apple Tax Territory.
Will you buy an AppleTV? Will you collect TV shows and TV movies into iTunes and stream them to EyeTV, or wait for a better, less expensive solution?
Share your frustrations and solutions with other Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.