Elgato EyeTV iPhone app £2.99

29th Oct 2009 | 09:30

Elgato EyeTV iPhone app

Who needs a Slingbox? Watch and schedule your EyeTV remotely

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Little wrong with the app, though bandwidth can make the experience quite frustrating

Like:

Simple to use; Watch recordings from your Mac; Live TV streaming;

Dislike:

Bandwidth issues can make it frustrating; No way to search;

People pay good money for a Slingbox, a piece of dedicated hardware that sits at home and lets you stream TV over the internet to a computer or smartphone. Now, you can use your Mac to do the same thing with the Elgato EyeTV iPhone app.

Add any TV tuner to your Mac that uses Elgato's fantastic EyeTV application, then add this app on your iPhone or iPod touch. You can watch live TV – with the app picking up the programme names from the EPG data held in EyeTV on your Mac – and play, pause and rewind it.

You can do it on the same local network or even over the web. A Back-to- My-Mac-like service lets you easily find your home computer over the internet, though only a few routers can make the connection fully automatically. But, with a little port forwarding with our test Netgear router, we were all set.

Quality over the web is dependent on your home broadband's upload speed, or whether you're on 3G, though if you own a Turbo.264 HD – Elgato's video encoding dongle – it can switch bitrates on the fly to give you the best quality as your bandwidth changes. (Live TV streaming requires a Core 2 Duo, but we had some success with a 1.5GHz Core Solo with a Turbo.264 HD attached.)

You can watch recordings you've made through EyeTV on the Mac, and go through the schedules to mark future programmes for recording remotely. Sadly, there's no way to search.

The app works well, though your experience of watching live TV and recordings remotely could be spoiled if your upload speeds aren't generous.

For scheduling and watching recordings, it's great, but we used TVCatchup for live TV wherever we were.

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