EyeTV Embraces TV Guide, Adds Season Passes

The EyeTV 3.1 software update, released Monday afternoon to existing customers, brings a number of changes to their Mac OS X television viewing and recording software.

First up is the (somewhat optional) replacement of TitanTV with TV Guide as the US EPG source. I see this as a positive move – more comprehensive listings, more days (14) of guide data, and a more “professional” feel to EyeTV. However, not everyone is happy with the change… because it’s accompanied by a $20 annual fee after the first, free year. While it’s far more reasonable than say Nero TiVo‘s $99 annual fee, solutions such as SageTV and Microsoft Media Center provide listings free of charge. I suggest Elgato waive this fee for existing customers and/or indefinitely provide TitanTV integration (which presumably costs them less).

Along with the more comprehensive guide data, EyeTV is less like a VCR and more like a DVR with the introduction of Smart Series recording. While the season pass functionality now identifies program titles on the same channel, it doesn’t yet offer the intelligence to filter for repeats. However, I assume this functionality is being worked on for a future update.

I experienced a minor blip in migrating EPGs, but otherwise I’m pleased with the upgrade and looking forward to additional DVR refinements. EyeTV software runs $80 and USB tuner sticks bundled with the software retail for about $150, though you can often find it for a few dollars less at vendors such as Amazon.

6 thoughts on “EyeTV Embraces TV Guide, Adds Season Passes”

  1. FYI 3.1 is a free upgrade to existing v3 owners and v2 owners who purchased after 12/1/07. Elgato won’t actually offer this as a stand-alone download for a few weeks, it’s currently available as an in-place upgrade.

  2. Dave,
    Do you use EyeTV on a laptop/desktop or is it somehow hooked up to a TV in your home?

    I’ve seen a little “grumbling” about the EPG fee EyeTV is charging – especially for those who beta tested the new EPG and now will have to pay sooner because of it.

  3. I use it now and then for live television (OTA ATSC) on my laptop. Every so often I think of getting that 24″ Mac LCD with builtin USB hub and having it serve dual purpose as a television. EyeTV isn’t capable enough to be a full fledged DVR at this point, though. Which kills my occasional thoughts of getting a used Mac Mini to use as an HTPC (Front Row, Boxee, EyeTV).

  4. In 3.04 (my installed version), Smart Guides have an option “Repeat is true/false”. Are you saying this has been removed?

  5. It’s possible I’m just not seeing it. I’ll check in a few mins and then update this comment.

    OK I found it. By default, the season pass records every instance and the repeat condition has to be manually added – it’s not available through the 10′ UI. But, it is there! Here’s a screengrab.

  6. SageTV has Mac support also – there are several who use it that way although the vast majority of SageTV users use Windows (XP, WHS or Vista) or Linux.

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