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elgato EyeTV Hybrid – review

Posted on : 07-15-2010 | By : Andy | In : tech

Tags: , , ,


(You can skip the prologue if you’re not interested in the customer service story!)

For Christmas 2008 I received an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid TV tuner from my wife. Getting it set up properly was a nightmare, but I finally did it. Tech support wasn’t a help, and my own computer geekiness and a little extra free time over Christmas break was all I had to rely on. Turns out that it might have just been a defective tuner.

So when I recently moved and found more problems tuning channels, I had enough. I contact EyeTV’s support for a possible RMA (despite being out of warranty) and referenced the original support ticket I had created over a year and a half ago. I braced myself for a long fight….and got a huge surprise.

They sent me a cordial apology and a promise to replace my tuner. Just like that! Talk about stellar customer service.

If that weren’t good enough…here’s what I think about the tuner:

It tunes channels well. With QAM support since 2008, you can pull in free HD signals over just about any cable connection, or free HD channels from over-the-air sources. If you’ve got ultra-cheap basic analog cable still, it will pull that in too. Perhaps where it most shines is the integration with the EyeTV software.

EyeTV since version 3 has been awesome. It’s simple to pause, rewind, record, convert, and burn TV shows and movies. You can also grab an app and extend support to your iPhone or iPod Touch. Get yourself the free comskipper plugin and it will automatically remove commercials from your recordings. Download cyTV and you can stream your live TV to another computer on your network, or even across the web! (Think of it as a poor man’s slingbox)

I won’t run through all the features, but retailing at $80, EyeTV 3 is a tremendous value-add to buying the EyeTV Hybrid. Consider the great customer service mentioned above, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!