From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Elgato Systems is a hardware and software manufacturer that makes television viewing and recording products specifically for the Macintosh family of personal computers, including EyeTV software. Founded in 1992 by Markus Fest, who also created the Toast CD-burning software for Macintosh,[1] Elgato is a privately held company based in Munich, Germany with US offices in San Francisco, California. The company's TV recording products are no longer available for sale in the US. [2]



EyeTV Models, Past To Present[edit]

1st EyeTV (aka EyeTV USB)
Elgato's first EyeTV product was introduced on September 29 at the 2002 Macworld Expo in New York. Made of white plastic and roughly the size of a paperback book, the $199 device was USB 1.1-based and had an analog NTSC TV tuner. While it could only record in the lesser-quality MPEG-1 format, the EyeTV was the first Macintosh-based TV tuner to offer the highly coveted TiVo-like ability to 'pause and replay' live TV. It was also the first Mac-based TV tuner to partner with TitanTV, a free online TV-programming guide, to permit the scheduled recording of upcoming TV shows. The EyeTV's (identically-named) software was easy to use and configure, letting users choose different recording settings, and different viewable-TV window sizes, including full-screen. And because virtually any recent (G3 or better) Mac could process the MPEG-1 format without difficulty,even the EyeTV's lesser-quality capabilities worked in its favor. Now discontinued.
EyeTV 400
Released in November 2003, EyeTV 400 enabled European and UK Mac users to watch and record unencrypted Digital Terrestrial Television, or DVB-T on a Mac. Transmits data to the computer via a FireWire 400 port. Now discontinued.
EyeTV 200 - FireWire D.V.R.
Elgato's second-generation EyeTV product. Being introduced on January 6, 2004 at the Macworld Expo, San Francisco. Whereas the original EyeTV used a 12Mbit/s USB 1.1-connection and was thus limited to MPEG-1 only, the EyeTV 200 featured the much higher bandwidth of 400Mbit/s FireWire, and could easily support recording to DVD-quality MPEG-2. In addition, the EyeTV 200 possessed much-expanded D.V.R. (digital video recording) capabilities, a.k.a. PVR (Private Video Recording). The EyeTV 200 also featured a new, trade-size silver housing with a red IR lens on the front for the included remote. Among its many accolades, on December 13, 2004, the EyeTV 200 won Macworld's Editors' Choice Award for Hardware of the Year. Now discontinued.
EyeTV 500 - HDTV P.V.R.
being Introduced on June 29, 2004 at the Worldwide Developers' Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.

The EyeTV 500 was identical to the EyeTV 200 in most respects, but featured ATSC HDTV capability instead of the 200's standard-definition NTSC. While the EyeTV 500 could display an HDTV signal on a G4-based Mac, a G5 or better was required for hi-def recording and advanced DVR/PVR functionality. Now discontinued.

EyeTV 310
Released in June 2004, the EyeTV 310 replaced the EyeTV 300. It enables European and UK customers to receive unencrypted Digital Satellite Television, or DVB-S, on a Mac, and includes a Common Interface (CI) for PayTV. Transmits data to the computer via a FireWire 400 port. Now discontinued, (but as of mid-September 2009, the EyeTV 310 was still available from Elgato's Online Store, via various 'backdoor/residual' URL's on the company's website.[3]) EyeTV models 300 and 310 sold before the end of 2007 were built to receive DVB-S signals ONLY and cannot receive/decode more recently introduced DVB-S2 signals. However, a relatively unknown fact, (and somewhat unannounced by Elgato), concerning later production Eye TV 310 receivers was that EyeTV 310 units sold via Elgato's online store from the beginning of 2008 were capable of receiving both DVB-S and DVB-S2 signals.[4] As for EyeTV 310 units sold from the beginning of 2008 by retailers, it was immediately discovered that it was impossible to determine if any of these units could additionally receive DVB-S2 signals just by physically inspecting any such device. To determine if an Eye TV 310 receiver is capable of receiving DVB-S2 signals, the unit must be connected to a Mac and interrogated via Mac OS X's System Profiler Application. (The System Profiler Application can be found in Applications->Utilities). If the unit is recognized as “EyeTV 310” within the Hardware > FireWire section, then it can only receive DVB-S signals. If the unit is recognized as “EyeTV 320”, it is capable of additionally receiving DVB-S2 signals as well as DVB-S signals.Note: Generally, DVB-S2 signals are broadcast from most satellite providers in the MPEG-4 (H.264) format.

Elgato's 'EyeTV' PVR Software v3.0.3 or higher is required to support and display this video format.

EyeTV 410
Released in September 2004 at Apple Expo Paris, EyeTV 410 replaced the EyeTV 400. It is a DVB-T receiver for the European and UK market, and includes a Common Interface (CI) slot for Pay TV. EyeTV 410 has won a number of awards, including MacUser UK's 2005 Best Video Device, MacWorld UK's Reader's Choice award in both 2005 and 2006. Transmits data to the computer via a FireWire 400 port.
EyeTV 610
In November 2004 Elgato released EyeTV 610, the world's first digital TV recorder for digital cable television (DVB-C) and PayTV on the Mac, for the European/UK market. The product was apparently discontinued in November 2007; however, there are apparently limited supplies still available.
EyeTV Sat
Elgato introduced the new EyeTV Sat Receiver on June 29, 2009. Immediately available for purchase from Elgato's online store, this latest receiver from Elgato replaced the EyeTV 310 in an all-new all-plastic form factor which was smaller, lighter and cheaper than the 310. Functionally identical to the EyeTV 310 in concept, the EyeTV Sat differs only by delivering all DVB-S and DVB-S2 video streams directly to the Mac via USB 2.0 - instead of Firewire400.

For switchers, it also offers a complete Windows solution in the form of TerraTec Home Cinema software. As per the EyeTV 310, the EyeTV Sat has a built-in CI slot to enable Pay TV programming with an appropriate subscription module and comes with Elgato's bundled EyeTV 3.0 PVR Software and IR Remote.

EyeTV Wonder
A joint venture between Elgato and ATI Technologies, using a USB 2.0-based ATI external analog tuner plus Elgato's EyeTV software. Released in January 2005, now discontinued.
A joint venture between Elgato and TerraTec, using a USB 2.0-based TerraTec external analog tuner plus Elgato's EyeTV software. Released in September 2005, now discontinued.
EyeTV 250
A smaller-sized, analog TV tuner with hardware encoding to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Can also be used to digitize VHS videocassettes or connect video game consoles (i.e. Nintendo's GameCube, Microsoft's Xbox, etc.) Released in April 2006 for US $199. It is being distributed in Japan under the Roxio brand instead.[5] Sonic Solutions, the company that owns the Roxio brand, has exclusive distribution rights in Japan by an agreement with Elgato Systems. Transmits data to the computer via a USB 2.0 port.
EyeTV 250 Plus
Similar in form and function to the EyeTV 250, the EyeTV 250 Plus receives both digital and analogue TV (rather than just analogue), released in summer 2007, for $199/€199/£139.
EyeTV for DTT
Originally released in 2005 in a small TV-box format, EyeTV for DTT switched to a USB stick format in July 2006. For the reception of free-to-view DVB-T (or in the UK, Freeview). Winner of the MacUser 2006 Reader's Choice award for Best Video device.
EyeTV for DTT Deluxe
Originally released in 2008, EyeTV for DTT Deluxe is a minuscule USB TV tuner stick for the reception of free-to-view DVB-T (or in the UK, Freeview). The initial version was silver and only 57 mm in length (the size of a large USB plug, e.g. as found on some WACOM tablets) and 9 mm deep. The stick is full-featured, including not only an infrared receiver for the included remote control, but also coming with numerous plug adapters, a telescope antenna and a larger one. In October 2009 a new, black revision was released of a mere 35 mm length (as small as a USB plug), but retaining the previous version's functionality.
EyeTV Hybrid showing USB and coaxial plugs
EyeTV Hybrid
This is a 2-in-1 device with ATSC HDTV capability, plus NTSC standard-definition analog. Also available in DVB-T/PAL for the international market. Software encoder - uses the Mac's processor to encode the signal. Several versions have been produced over the years in this series, the newer versions can also decode/receive digital cable TV (clear QAM/DVB-C) and FM radio. Transmits data to the computer via a USB 2.0 port.
EyeTV Diversity
Released in October 2006 at MacExpo London, EyeTV Diversity, designed and manufactured by Hauppauge (WinTV-Nova-TD) is the world's first application of Antenna Diversity technology in a TV tuner for the Mac. In Diversity mode, the device can receive DVB-T signals deep indoors and at speeds of up to 160 km/h. In Dual-Tuner mode, the device becomes two conventional DVB-T tuners, enabling the user to watch two different TV channels at the same time Picture-in-Picture, or watch one channel and record another simultaneously. Transmits data to the computer via a USB 2.0 port.
HDHomeRun connectivity
An Ethernet network attached device, designed and manufactured by SiliconDust, the HDHomeRun (HDHR) provides two ATSC and QAM compatible tuners to any computer on the network with enough bandwidth to receive the data stream. Gigabit Ethernet is recommended (to maximize efficiency of the 100Mb top speed), although wireless connectivity with 802.11n is possible. The HDHR works simply by transforming MPEG-2 transport stream packets into UDP network packets. The HDHR acquires its local IP address via Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is powered by 5 volts DC at 2.0 amperes. It was sold by Elgato with two licenses of EyeTV included.

EyeTV HD[edit]

Released in summer 2010, this box can record HD and SD video from an analog source. Recording is done via component video or via composite/s-video via the included breakout cable. It retails for $199. It comes with EyeTV 3, IR blaster, and remote.[6] The capture card can record up to 1080i and can also record SD video. EyeTV HD is one of few consumer level Mac HD capture cards.


Elgato's EyeHome is a hardware- and software-based digital media player that allows users to view their music, photos and video (including EyeTV content) on their televisions or home entertainment centers.

In implementation, the EyeHome hardware connects via composite, S-Video, or component jacks to a TV or stereo, and then "bridges" to a Mac via 10/100 Ethernet, either directly by cable or by using an 802.11g wireless router (802.11b can be used, but only for audio files and pictures - no video). The software then installs on the Mac - or multiple Macs, with a separate installation of the software needed for each. Supported media formats include MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AAC, MP3, JPEGs, GIFs, and even DivX with subtitles.

The EyeHome was unveiled January 6, 2004 at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, and is basically identical in appearance to the EyeTV 200, even featuring the same IR lens on the front for an included remote. Initial reviews of the device were mixed, but focused mostly on the shortcomings and limitations of the software. The device continues to sell, however, and as of mid-2006, the EyeHome software stands at version 1.8, including support for iLife '06 as well as Universal Binary coding for Apple's new Intel systems (see external links). Now discontinued, likely due to its functional similarity to the Apple TV (albeit the Apple TV has narrower support for different media types).

The EyeHome hardware is compatible with other Syabas-based media servers. The open-source wizd software (among others) can be used to server content to the EyeHome hardware.


The Elgato Turbo.264 is a hardware video encoder designed by ADS Technology packaged in a USB connected stick, similar to USB memory sticks. The hardware is specially designed for encoding H.264 video and is advertised to perform the encoding up to four times faster than without special hardware. Slower computers achieve bigger speed-ups, but high-end multi processor systems might encode videos faster without the Turbo.264 hardware. Encoder user can specify basic video properties, such as resolution, frame rate, video and audio bitrate, and the encoded video should be playable in any hardware that supports displaying H.264 encoded video, but Elgato specially advertises Apple iPod, Apple TV and Apple iPhone support. The bundled software also includes a preset for Sony PSP, but presets can easily be customized for other devices. Videos can be encoded from any application which support exporting via Apple QuickTime, and also with the bundled simple drag and drop application.

In May 2009 Turbo.264 HD was introduced, a software based High-definition video video encoder. The hardware-based encoder was discontinued.

Thunderbolt Drive+ Portable Drives[edit]

In 2012, Elgato launched Thunderbolt Drive+ that utilizes a Solid State Drive (SSD) to store data, dramatically outperforming other portable drives. With transfer speeds up to 420 MB/s, it’s a worthy companion for Apple computers (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or Ultrabooks with built-in flash storage and Thunderbolt port available)

Game Capture HD[edit]

Elgato launched their first capture card in May 2012.[7] The device became one of the most popular products Elgato has offered.[8] Many YouTubers and hobbyists use the device to create videos of gameplay on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS devices, Xbox One, PS2, PlayStation, NES, N64, Sega, Sega Master System, and PS4. The Game Capture HD comes with free recording and editing software. The recording software comes with the "flashback recording" feature, allowing users to view and save gameplay that has not been recorded!

Game Capture HD60[edit]

Front of Game Capture HD60
Front of Game Capture HD60

The Game Capture was released in August 2014. It can now record 720 and 1080p with 60 frames.



Software controller for EyeTV

Elgato's EyeTV 3.5 is Mac OS X software that provides a user interface to the various TV Tuners from Elgato and some licensees. It is bundled with TV Tuner products sold by Elgato and is offered separately as well. Its main function as a PVR is to show the Tuner's received TV programs on the computer screen. It can show live programs and also offers Time shifting. It can record programs permanently to disk, by pre-programming. It is able to wake up a sleeping Mac automatically just before the programmed time for a recording. Recorded video can be edited, i.e. scenes can be cut out or extracted without loss of quality. For most countries it is sold in it offers an Electronic program guide covering all available channels. After a recording, the movie can be automatically re-encoded fitting specific formats such as Apple TV, iPhone, iPod, Sony PSP and others, optionally making use of Turbo.264 for faster processing. Re-encoded video does not, however, include DVB subtitles.


EyeConnect was Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) software which allows users to stream media content, including Apple iLife files and/or EyeTV recordings, from a computer to a separate TV or stereo system. It was discontinued in 2013.

"Other EyeTV support"[edit]

  • EyeTV was also shipped with Products designed by Miglia Technology, but this has ceased in 2007. EyeTV software is also bundled with some products from Terratec and Twinhan.
  • PyeTV is a Plug-in that integrates with Apple's FrontRow

Turbo.264 HD Software[edit]

  • In 2011, Elgato launched a version of Turbo.264 HD without the USB Stick H.264 accelerator required. Turbo.H264 HD Hardware product (with USB Stick) it was discontinued.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.enotes.com/topic/Roxio_Toast
  2. ^ http://www.elgato.com/en/eyetv
  3. ^ http://www.elgato.com/elgato/int/mainmenu/products/tuner/310/product1.en.html
  4. ^ http://support.elgato.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=3200
  5. ^ (Japanese) r o x i o | EyeTV 250
  6. ^ http://www.elgato.com/elgato/na/mainmenu/news/press-release/press-release-detail.en.html?pid=73513458-a606-49ce-8d68-4288b5ac9dda
  7. ^ http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/21/elgato-game-capture-hd/
  8. ^ http://www.elgato.com/gaming/game-capture-hd

External links[edit]