Elgato has released the EyeTV app for iPhone and iPod touch. With the EyeTV app, you can now watch live TV and recordings on an iPhone and even browse the detailed program guide.
If that wasn’t good enough you can now also use your iPhone to start recording TV shows back home on a Mac immediately, or to schedule them to record later. The EyeTV app connects to any Mac running the latest version of, EyeTV 3.2, and can automatically find a Mac on the local network using Bonjour.
For current EyeTV users you have to upgrade your desktop install to the latest version (3.2). The download is just over 90MB. Once installed the iPhone application is able to locate its desktop big brother via Bonjour.
The iPhone application is particularly well featured and you can view all areas of the desktop application remotely. The iPhone access is activated by default but you can turn it off by unclicking a button in options (see 1 in the screenshot above).
Streaming Recorded & Live TV
EyeTV 3.2 and the EyeTV app use Apple’s new HTTP streaming technology that was introduced with iPhone OS 3.0. Unlike other proprietary streaming solutions, EyeTV relies on Apple’s specifications for adaptive streaming using H.264 video and AAC audio codecs.
EyeTV also uses the iPhone’s hardware acceleration for playback, and delivers the best possible streaming quality with minimum battery use. It is one thing to stream recorded television programmes but to be able to watch Live TV on my iPhone is spectacular. The quality is stunning (see the screenshot below).
Accessing recorded TV is again very easy using the EyeTv app. Click on Recorded TV from the main menu will display a list of the recorded programmes currently in your EyeTV library. Clicking on the programme screenshot will play the recording or if you want more information click the title/info.
You can click on the iPhone screenshots for a full size view.
Connect via Bonjour
Thanks to Bonjour technology, the EyeTV app automatically finds any Mac on a local Wi-Fi network that is running EyeTV 3.2. Once connected, the iPhone can play live TV, change channels, watch EyeTV recordings, browse the Program Guide, and start or schedule recordings.
You can password the Bonjour access to your EyeTV install (see 3 in the top screen shot). This means for a family with more than one iPhone user, (or our personal example of school use (available here)) a number of users can manage the system.
(See 3. in the top screenshot). If your router can support the Back to My Mac feature then you will be to make full use of the remote access to your home EyeTV installation. You initially have to sign up for a My EyeTV account (free) which you can do in the preferences section of the EyeTV desktop application.
The process is quick and EyeTV will tell you if your router is able to support the service. Generally it is a matter of activitating UPnP or-PMP or manually configure your router and/or use a dynamic DNS service. The service didn’t work for us by default but a slight adjustment on the router and I was able to remotely schedule a recording over GPRS.
The service works really well, obviously you can’t watch live TV over GPRS but all the other management services are available.
The EyeTV app requires a Mac computer (live TV streaming requires an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better), EyeTV 3.2 or higher and a compatible TV tuner connected. Wi-Fi connection required for live TV.
The EyeTV App is a brilliant solution that has clearly been well thought out and designed. It isn’t just another remote control or remote player it is the perfect EyeTV companion. The ability to schedule recordings even when you are miles from your computer is an unexpected bonus to an already brilliant mobile application.
In the “About” section of the mobile app Elgato have inserted the slogan “Turn your Mac into the coolest television in the house.” Well with EyeTV app you can now add the iPhone to that sentence, I love it.
EyeTV is available from the iTunes Store at only £2.99 (iTunes Link).