What can I say? Apple is doing well. They don’t need my advice. For reasons unknown to the Mac masses, Apple has ignored a glaring omission from the iLife lineup.
Digital. Video. Recorder. The DVR. How valuable would Apple TV be if it had DVR capability built-in? There are good reasons why an Apple DVR would be the killer app. There are good reasons why Apple won’t give you a DVR.
Fortunately, there’s already a good DVR for the Mac.
DVR For Mac, iPhone, iPad
One of my absolute favorite Mac apps is Elgato’s EyeTV. To put it simply, it’s the DVR app for your Mac. Add a compatible TV tuner, and your Mac becomes the mother of all digital video recorders.
First, EyeTV records your favorite television shows direct to your Mac. Cable or direct. HD or normal.
EyeTV lets you watch, pause, and rewind live television on your Mac.
Use the Mac’s mouse to navigate the screen controls, or use Apple’s Remote. The Smart Series Guides give you options to record an entire season of a specific television show.
There’s a built-in television program guide so you can search ahead for TV shows to record.
So, your Mac is the TV. Big whoop, right?
If you have a humongous flat screen TV, or an iPad, or an iPhone, wouldn’t it be cool to view whatever your Mac recorded on devices other than a Mac?
EyeTV to the rescue.
The array of options to get TV to a Mac and out again is dizzying. For example, a Mac mini can act as a dedicated DVR and connect direct to your giant flat screen television.
Or, whatever TV show is stored on EyeTV on your Mac can be broadcast wirelessly to your iPhone or iPad, so they become mini-mobile televisions. Or, even better, whatever is on your Mac can be streamed to Apple TV and show up on your giant flat screen television, too.
EyeTV on your Mac does the conversion of live or recorded TV so it works on your other iDevices via Wi-Fi or 3G. It’s very impressive what you can do to mix and match all these options.
Simple, huh? There are plenty of other options, too. With the right EyeTV tuner and network, your Mac can handle Dolby Digital sound, including 5.1 multi-channel audio. It’ll handle full res HDTV and parental controls.
I’m sure I forgot to mention a few other aspects of the EyeTV ecosystem that make it the only television killer app. Video can be edited to delete unwanted content (as in those pesky commercials). An entire season of TV shows can be archived to DVDs. And, you can export video to be edited in iMovie, iDVD, or DVD Studio Pro.
EyeTV’s killer functions come in two basic steps. Recording television show just like a DVR. Then, wirelessly streaming live or recorded TV to your iPhone or iPad or Apple TV. The only thing not to like is that Apple does build all those pieces into Macs and iPhones and iPads and AppleTV.
All I can figure is that Apple prefers an ongoing revenue stream of TV show and movie rentals and sales. An Apple DVR app and ecosystem would cut into that profit and make content producers, distributors, and networks very unhappy.