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Miglia TVMax+ (Mac TV tuner) review

Aims to be the missing link between your TV, Apple Mac and iPod Tested at £130.00

Our Verdict

A neat, versatile unit that does what it sets out to in some style – we just think there are a few gaps in its specifications

For

  • Easy set-up
  • wide range of functions
  • decent quality TV tuner

Against

  • No digital tuner
  • menus could be clearer
  • highest quality is S-video connection

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A neat, versatile unit that does what it sets out to in some style – we just think there are a few gaps in its specifications

Pros

  • + Easy set-up
  • + wide range of functions
  • + decent quality TV tuner

Cons

  • - No digital tuner
  • - menus could be clearer
  • - highest quality is S-video connection

Is it a Mac mini? Is it an Apple TV? No, it's a product designed to fit neatly in between the two – hence the slim, Mac-friendly design.

The TVMax+ hopes to be the missing link between your TV, Mac and your iPod, while also supporting Apple TV.So, that's a lot of promise, but what can the box actually do?

First things first: there's a built-in analogue TV tuner. Connect an aerial straight to the machine and you can watch TV on your computer. As the styling might suggest, it's Apple Mac-compatible only.

Record straight to your Mac
Step two is the ability to record straight to your Mac. Yep! Pause, rewind and record content you're watching straight to your computer.


This means you can compress the content to iTunes, iPod and Apple TV-compatible resolutions, allowing instantaneous sync'ing to your Mac library and beyond. For example, the ‘iPod best' format is 640 x 480 resolution. Ideal!

No format too old or obscure
Alongside the antenna connection on the back of the unit, there are composite and S-video inputs. These allow for direct ‘capturing' of video content from DVD players, camcorders, old VHS tapes and set-top boxes.

All this can be added to your Mac's library and loaded on to your iPod or sent to your TV using the Apple TV box.

Set-up is simple – be sure to check for the latest version of the software, though – and once up and running, the software is reasonably easy to use, if not the most intuitive. We found ourselves wondering where to look for certain features at times.

What no digital tuner?
Sending content to iTunes is instant, so in seconds it's on your iPod – we found little fault with the basic functionality of the software.

What we do think is a mistake is the lack of a Freeview tuner. Surely forward-thinking consumers who might want to buy this would want to be able to access digital TV? After all, there are products elsewhere that offer this, such as the EyeTV 250 Plus from Elgato.

Likewise, we would like to see higher-quality video inputs. On this model there are only composite and S-Video inputs, so no hint of Scart or component, let alone HDMI, should you be wanting to connect a DVD player (as Miglia suggest).

And while we know there are more products out there for PCs, it would be nice if this unit simply offered some PC software, too.

This is an interesting, versatile and useful product, but we don't think it's quite the finished article.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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