Macintosh gets its First HDTV PVR

Macintosh OS X users now have their first HDTV PVR – and it’s digital too. Elgato Systems have released the EyeTV 500, a Firewire-powered box that sits next to your mac and can be used to record, rewind and edit over-the-air digital TV. Elgato have had a range of digital tuners for the mac, but this is the first HD offering to the market.

Digital television is gaining popularity in the US after a slow start, with more than 1200 DTV stations now reaching almost 100% of the population. HD television has been popular there for some time, with broadcasters boasting four times the picture quality of DVD.

Elgato are hoping to capitalise in the new interest in that DTV is attracting with this new HD product. “We have designed EyeTV 500 in line with the growth and success of free over-the-air HDTV services in North America,” said Freddie Geier, Elgato’s CEO in a statement. “Mac users can now enjoy free prime-time programming from the major U.S. broadcasters (including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, UPN, and WB) – and all in TV image quality never seen before on the Mac.”

Users will have access to more than 20 HDTV and SDTV channels, and will be able to archive programmes directly to their Macintosh’s hard disk. The box can even be programmed directly over the internet with TitansTV’s electronic programme guide.

The EyeTV 500 costs US$349 (€288) and is available now.

Elgato Systems

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?