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EyeTV Hybrid on Mac and iPad (photos)

Yes, you can turn your Mac into a TV and DVR, and even get your iPad in on the action, too. Hands on with the Elgato EyeTV Hybrid and its iOS app.

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Scott Stein

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1 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET
The Elgato EyeTV Hybrid TV tuner stick is roughly the size of a USB flash drive--one end plugs into your computer, the other end is for screwing in a coaxial cable.
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The EyeTV Hybrid, plugged into a MacBook Pro. Due to its size and cumbersome angles, when a coax cable is plugged in, we'd recommend using the EyeTV Hybrid with an iMac or Mac Mini instead.
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3 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET
MacBook Pro plugged into the EyeTV Hybrid, plugged into an over-the-air antenna.
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Browsing recordings made on the EyeTV 3's DVR software. Recordings can be encoded into iPhone- and iPad-ready .mp4 files at the touch of a button.
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Browsing program listings, provided via a service from TV Guide. The first year is free, but after that it's $20/month, which is aggravating.
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When connecting to an HD signal, the TV signal looks crisp and clear.
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A virtual remote at the top of the screen controls most functions; alternatively, you could use the physical IR remote that comes with the EyeTV Hybrid.
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Viewing daytime television in full-screen: at least it looks good.
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Playing back from a recorded program: some shows get extra letterboxing, but it otherwise looks good.
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An iPad running the Elgato EyeTV app, side-by-side with the MacBook Pro it's streaming video from. TV streaming happens at a several-second delay.
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Streaming live TV via the EyeTV app on an iPad 2. The resolution is not as good as from the original signal and playback happens at a slight delay, but you can pause and placeshift the "live" broadcast.
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Playing back TV on the iPad's EyeTV app, in full-screen mode.
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EyeTV on the iPad: recordings made and saved on a Mac in the same Wi-Fi network show up on a browsable list.
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Program data on a recording made on a Mac, streaming via the iPad app.
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TV channel listings can be accessed on the app, and the channels can be changed, too, but each station requires a re-buffering of the video feed, which can take up to ten seconds in our tests.
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Playing back a recording made on a Mac and streamed onto the iPad app: the video has a scrubber for fast-forwarding and rewinding.

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