Formac TVR vs. Elgato EyeTV 200 - or ATI XClaimVR 128

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cpjakes, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. cpjakes macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    Just wondering if anyone is using Formac or Elgato Firewire TV tuners. I'm looking into one and wondering about the pros and cons of each. I'm looking at ease of scheduling, editing commercials out, and file formats. Any help would be appreciated.

    Also, I have an ATI XClaimVR 128 that has a TV tuner, but isn't OS X compatible through ATI. Does anyone know if these work through other programs like iTV or XTelevision?

    I use the video in on my PC to record some stuff, but it passes through my VCR which isn't a controllable tuner unless I program it ahead of time and it still uses tape... :mad:

    Any thoughts?
  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    I have the Formac TVR, and the picture quality isnt very good. Its full DV, so the fuzziness that you get on a TV isnt there. Although that sounds good, its not. It shows all the artifacts on the cable, so unless you have a perfect digital cable signal w/digital cable box, its not worth it. However, on the channels that are clear, it performs very well. The one MAJOR drawback to the TVR is the CPU usage. It takes from 30% to 60% of my CPU at any given time while just watching it. That makes doing anything else incredibly slow (even Safari is slow with such low CPU availability).
    Before you buy one of these boxes, i strongly question your need for TV on the computer. You can usually save money by buying a TiVo or even a TiVo AND a TV. Also, alot of cable companies now offer TiVo-like boxes for no upfront cost and only $8 per month. Thats a HUGE savings over TiVo, with no upfront cost and almost half the monthly fee. In the long run, its also better than a TV hookup on the computer because you get FREE upgrades to the latest digital cable box, and you dont have to pay anything upfront. You will get much better use out of one of these boxes than a computer because its made to do that, and just that.

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