No one likes DRM (except the RIAA) no one likes paying for TIVO or any other DVR services. No one likes missing their favorite shows. The solution? TV tuners for your computer. I’ve decided to talk about three options. The two criteria for these choices were usability and price.
ADS Tech DVDXpress DX2 is a good solution for the PC. Once you’ve plugged the RCA into the TV and the USB into the computer, you have to choose what size the video will be, make sure to click NTSC if you’re in the US, and click finish. Whatever is playing on your TV will show up in a preview screen. You’ll be able to adjust the brightness and contrast, etc, and what format you want to record to. When you’re done with all that, press record, and away you go. This product is not Mac compatible. It runs from eighty to one hundred dollars.
If you’re running a Mac, one way to go is the Pinnacle Video Capture. It didn’t get the greatest reviews on the sites I visit, but it seems to be very easy to use, and at about one hundred dollars, it’s pretty cheap. It’ll record from any analog source, camcorder, set top box, or game console. It’s essentially plug and play, like the box above, and it imports directly to itunes, as MP4, which (to me) is a bonus.
The Tuner I really want, and will probably have to buy, is the EyeTV 250 Plus. I am a little biased toward the Mac side of things, but this little device is easy on the eyes (in case you’re using it as a media center tool in the middle of your living room) It will record full quality HD. It will pick up Television from cable or antenna, and it’s got a break out cable to run composite or S-Video to your computer. If you’ve got a VCR and you want to convert your old VHS tapes to DVD, it’ll walk you through the process, and an ipod assistant for converting to mobile device. A little bit bigger than two iphones tacked on top of each other, it’s tiny and white, coming with a remote, it’ll be the answer for your media center for a little while to come.
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