First Look: Elgato Systems EyeTV Hybrid (2009)
As an update to earlier products with the same name, Elgato System's new 2009 version of EyeTV Hybrid ($150) is a small USB-based hardware TV tuner that can decode non-encrypted analog and digital SD and HD broadcasts. This year, Hybrid includes a built-in FM radio tuner, and improved TV recording software -- version 3.1 of EyeTV, and a basic version of Toast 9 to burn your recordings to disc. Elgato also promises better reception, which we haven't seen in our brief tests, along with visible streamlining of both the Hybrid device and the EyeTV 3.1 software, which still include a coaxial port and component cables for video input purposes, plus a remote control and USB extender cable. One major change: free program guide information is now disappearing for EyeTV users, so the company has included a year of TV Guide service for U.S. and Canadian buyers, with subsequent years costing $20. Update: After experiencing a number of bugs during our testing of the latest EyeTV 3.1 software, we discussed problems with this solution in a separate, extended article here.