Crave loves gadgets that plays nicely with the other kit we adore, and the TVMax sits so perfectly under a Mac Mini you could forget it was even there. Apart from looking cute, it enables you to record analogue TV via an aerial or from your cable box. You can give it your cable feed for up to 125 channels, and it has composite and S-Video inputs, so you can hook in a Sky box if you so wish.
We tuned in the analogue channels with the supplied mini-aerial as well as a roof aerial. The reception in both cases was excellent, and within a few clicks you are watching daytime television (a new and rather harrowing experience). Recording is just as easy: we dedicated an external hard drive for our TV content, but you can store files just about anywhere. When you have finished recording, you have lots more options: straightforward playback, record to DVD (you need an application like Toast to do this) or export the file automatically to your iPod. We moved the recording to our iPod and were impressed with the results.
TVMax also enables remote scheduling. You get a free subscription to TVTV for the first year, after which it cost you £15 per year. The service lets you schedule recordings from a Web browser interface up to three weeks in advance. If you forget to record something and you're at work or on holiday, no problem: you can set-up schedules from anywhere with Internet access. This is a brilliant feature and we look forward to never missing Richard and Judy again. Surely that's worth £143? -CD