Review: Elgato’s Tivizen and EyeTV Netstream DTT
Elgato has been producing TV tuners for computers for years but these latest products have taken its technology to the next level.
The biggest difference this time around is that the products are compatible with Apple’s popular iPad and iPhone as well.
The EyeTV Netstream DTT is a small digital TV tuner that connects to your home’s router and your antenna before piping that signal around your network.
The Tivizen is a portable TV tuner with a retractable antenna that’s smaller than a mobile that connects wirelessly to your laptop, iPhone or iPad anywhere.
ELGATO EYETV NETSTREAM DTT
The device is 12cm wide, 12cm long and 2.3cm thick so it’s not going to take up too much space.
There are connections for power, an antenna and Ethernet.
Because it’s a network product it doesn’t have to sit right beside your computer.
As long it can be plugged to power, into a wall antenna socket and connected to your router with an Ethernet cable you’re in business.
Included with the product is the EyeTV 3 software for Mac or PC. iPad and iPhone users can download the EyeTV app for $5.99.
For initial installation to our iMac we had to adjust the firewall settings in the system preferences to connect the device through our network.
When set up was completed we tuned in the channels and were watching digital TV on the iMac. Users can pause live TV and even record programs to watch later.
And thanks to the dual HD TV tuners aboard the device two people can watch and record two different programs on their computers at the same time.
User can be on separate computers or on different iPads or iPhones – as long as there are only a maximum of two users accessing the signal off the network at the same time.
Viewers can be anywhere within the network’s range to pick up the signal. This is especially handy when viewing on an iPad or iPhone.
The only drawback with connecting with an iPad or iPhone is the fact you can’t record. Recording is only possible with a desktop or laptop computer running the full version of the EyeTV 3 software.
TV reception was excellent with the Netstream DTT and the picture quality was flawless. We were able to watch every digital channel including the high definition channels.
And because the signal was coming through the network there was no buffering, pixelisation or stuttering.
The only time the picture started coming apart was when we were right on the edge of the network.
We compared the signal to that of a regular TV and found the Elgato stream was only a second behind the actual transmission.
If you’re fighting over what to watch, the Elgato Netstream DTT will be able to put and end to all of those arguments and give users the luxury of watching their favourite TV shows anywhere in their home.
Elgato EyeTV Netstream DTT
Four and half stars (out of five)
Wouldn’t it be great if you could take your digital TV with you anywhere?
With the Elgato Tivizen you can. The tiny device, which weighs just 68g, is like an ultraportable set top box and can easily slip into a bag or a pocket.
The device creates its own wi-fi network which can only be accessed by one person at a time because it only has a single tuner on board.
So iPad, iPhone and computer users simply go into their wireless settings and choose the Tivizen network to make the connection.
A free Tivizen app can be downloaded to the iPhone or iPad while licence and activation code for the EyeTV 3 software is included for Mac or PC users.
Once connected, even on the iPhone and iPad, viewers are able to pause and rewind live TV and also record to the hard drive.
The Tivizen device has a small telescopic antenna which can be positioned to face in any direction to get the best signal.
Using the device indoors we found we were limited to only a few viewable channels. The situation improved when we positioned the Tivizen near a window. With range of about 10 to 15 metres, we weren’t required to sit right next to the device.
But outside or on a balcony or on back porch we were able scan all the channels including the HD channels.
Using the device on an iPad offers not only a larger screen but also the option of using a 3G connection to connect to the web, if you have a 3G model that is, if the wi-fi antenna is occupied by the Tivizen.
On the iPhone with the wi-fi connected to the Tivizen we were unable to access data or the web even though it also had a built-in 3G connection.
Another downside of the product is that if you want to record a program on your iPhone, users can’t do anything else with the device until the recording is finished.
On board the Tivizen is a rechargeable battery which can be topped up just by connecting to a PC with a USB cable.
Battery life offers up to three and half hours of viewing. And even if you forget to turn off the device it can automatically turn itself off after a few minutes once the link to the iPad, iPhone or computer is severed.
The Elgato Tivizen is a handy device for anyone who can’t bear to be too far away from a TV – as long as you can find decent reception.
It’s the kind of product that will make you glad you own an iPad or iPhone.
Four stars (out of five)