Palm Springs, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/04/2014 -- The interest in Apple high-definition television tuners and video capture gadgets in the United States is dwindling and under market pressure from shifting content acquisition methods and consumer interests on the Macintosh platform. Mac technology writer Russell T. Baer aka MacGizmoGuy analyzes the declines in USB TV tuner product availability and shifting trends in this previously vibrant niche of Macintosh video accessories.
Universal Serial Bus - USB TV tuners and video capture devices have historically been a mainstay in the Apple computer accessory marketplace. The ability to view, schedule, record and export video content, television programs and movies on a computer is an activity as popular as watching TV itself. Yet, the commercial viability of the Mac computer TV tuner market has deteriorated as alternative and more convenient methods of content acquisition have increased. Analog video itself is being largely surpassed as the shift to All-Digital technology affects the marketplace as well.
"For many years, a Mac USB TV tuner or an Analog video grabbing device were the only workable approaches to acquiring televised or recorded content into your computer,” states Baer. "However, with the rise of, and competition from online pay-per content providers such as Hulu, Netflix, iTunes and others, the need to grab and post-process captured clips, movies or televised programs has tapered off. It's altered the viability of the Mac video tuner hardware market substantially in spite of the Macintosh platform's ongoing market-share gains in the personal computer industry."
Once the market leader, ElGato recently halted it's PC and Mac compatible USB TV tuner product line. It's flagship product, the EyeTV Hybrid was notably the top-selling solution for both Digital HDTV reception and Analog video capture for many years. Other products like the EyeTV One for Digital ATSC antenna use, and the HDHomeRun ethernet network tuner are no longer listed at their online store. However, ElGato’s HD DVR device and Analog video capture device for legacy media such as VHS, DVD or Camcorders is still readily available.
The nearest competition, the TubeStick Hybrid USB tuner from Equinux has also vanished from distribution in the USA. TheTube application was it's OSX compatible DVR application for setup, scheduling and recording televised broadcasts. Equinux now offers other Apple TV tuner products under the 'Tizi' name, but solely for European DVB-T television signals. They aren’t compatible with the North American ATSC antenna or Clear QAM Digital Cable specifications.
Various 3rd-party USB TV tuners that shipped with ElGato's world-class EyeTV or EyeTV Lite DVR software for OSX now have sporadic availability or have also been discontinued. Suppliers such as SiliconDust, Pinnacle Micro, Hauppauge and various others may continue to distribute tuners that were bundled with, or will work with EyeTV 3 software for Mac. A license for the most recent version of the EyeTV 3 app itself is still available for standalone purchase from ElGato. However, without most of it's own flagship hardware TV receiver products propelling sales, the practicality of on-going OSX application development may be uncertain.
For people in the USA willing to research and pursue specific supported 3rd-party television tuner devices, MacGizmoGuy continues to maintain his website devoted to the Macintosh compatible TV tuner scene at http://www.mac-digital-tv-tuners.com. There are still ways to directly enjoy, record and convert video content on your Mac desktop or MacBook laptop. However it's rapidly becoming more of a hobbyist pursuit out on the refurbished and used market than a widely available off the shelf retail solution for the everyday Apple user.
Apple computer gadget geek and Mac technology blogger Russell T. Baer aka MacGizmoGuy offers more than a quarter century of Macintosh computing experience and wisdom to Apple computer users at http://www.macgizmoguy.com. From years of providing Apple product purchase decision assistance and on-site Macintosh technical consulting, MacGizmoGuy leverages deep expertise in the best Mac peripherals and gadgets to help ensure an insanely great Apple computing experience. Unleash the true potential of your Macintosh desktop or MacBook laptop with wisdom from his best-in-class computer accessory reviews.
Russell T. Baer
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