EyeTV is the only way to get television with personal video recorder (PVR) functions--think TiVo--on your Mac. With EyeTV, you can record your favorite shows, skip over commercials, pause live TV, edit programs, and--if you own
EyeTV's Programs window displays your scheduled recordings and shows you've already saved.
When you first run the software, it scans for television signals and helps you sign up for a free account with &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Etitantv%2Ecom">TitanTV, an online TV schedule you can use to quickly set recordings.
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EyeTV's controller works like a standard PVR remote, letting you pause live TV or replay the last seven seconds of a program.
This version of EyeTV adds the ability to edit recordings; this is especially useful because EyeTV records shows only in the MPEG-1 format, which can't easily be edited with iMovie. Recordings can be saved as video CDs, but only if you also have installed. EyeTV can be controlled with a Keyspan Digital Media Remote, a feature we didn't test.
EyeTV covers the basics, but we wish it had more. SnapStream offers advanced features EyeTV doesn't, such as displaying quick previews of what's playing on every channel or transferring videos to handheld devices.
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We didn't get good reception in our testing, using an indoor antenna. Only one VHF channel came in well enough to watch.
When flipping channels, you'll experience a two-second lag while EyeTV loads a buffer for the channel. It's a tiresome delay not found in SnapStream.
Also, our reception--even with a new, separately powered indoor TV antenna--was quite poor. We could tune in only one VHF station out of six. A company representative told us that EyeTV uses the same Philips TV tuner component that's in more than 90 percent of all TV sets (meaning the reception troubles may not be the program's fault). However, when we used the same antenna with SnapStream on a Windows XP system in the same location, we received four VHF channels and much better image quality. EyeTV's support is adequate. The product lacks a printed manual, which is a pain, but it does come with an Acrobat (PDF) version. The company doesn't offer phone support, a shame for a $199 product, but you can request support via e-mail. In our tests, a tech-support person answered our queries in half a day, and he even offered his phone number so that we could call him to discuss performance problems.