DTV Transition Spurs New Mac TV Tuner Products
America's DTV switchover to all-digital television is more of a progression than an 'event'. Depending on whether you receive TV signals over a UHF-VHF antenna, Analog or Digital cable service, or via Satellite reception -- your computer TV tuner, television set, or set-top converter box needs to be versatile enough to adapt to the changes.
For most Macintosh computer users, investing in an Analog + Digital HYBRID TV tuner gives the best of all worlds: The ability to watch television, capture and convert signals from older Analog sources, yet still be able to also switch to HD Digital signals over ATSC antenna or Clear QAM unencrypted digital cable service.
For some though, a Digital-ONLY TV tuner may be all you need looking forward. You may not need or want to hook up an old Analog VHS tape deck, DVD player, camcorder - or capture video from an xBox, Wii, PlayStation or other game system. Most Digital-only tuners use simpler, single-tuner chipsets and can be had well under $100.
As Apple's market-share grows - and technology evolves, Mac friendly TV tuner prices are coming down. For a long time, it was hard to justify a tiny TV tuner stick for your Macintosh that cost more than many TV sets did. But as competition heats up between various 3rd party tuner manufacturers, ElGato and their EyeTV software - and Equinux with its competing TheTube software -- there's more choices than ever, at more affordable price points.
A new generation of TV receiver and video decoder chipsets have taken the latest TV tuner hardware devices to the next level. Advanced signal processing, unencrypted Clear QAM support, and more sensitive tuners now make the most of Digital broadcast streams. And ElGato and Equinux are keeping up with frequent software updates to support an ever-growing range of Digital and Hybrid tuners.
Apple TV lovers also benefit from the explosion in competitive online price shopping opportunities: Whether it's at Amazon.com and it's 3rd party sellers, slugging it out for Mac television sticks being auctioned at eBay, or other online retailers like Buy.com or NewEgg - you can find a great tuner for your MacBook, Pro, iMac or Mini at a great price.