UPDATE: BYOPVR has a discussion with screenshots, the interface looks like crap, but what I’m hoping for is that Apple will build in support for this device in Front Row, much like Microsoft did with the PVR cards from Hauppauge in MCE.
Maybe this is the missing component Apple has needed to build a PVR/Media Center. Eskape Labs, which is a division of Hauppauge (the makers of PVR cards for Windows Media Center), just released the myTV.PVR. This is the company’s first combination TV tuner with built-in MPEG encoder designed specifically for the Macintosh platform.
The myTV.PVR is an external USB 2.0 device and looks like it’s roughly the same size as a Mac Mini (so much for a compact Mac Media Center). The unit also provides dbx-TV stereo audio for quality TV sound and incorporates an hardware MPEG-2 video recorder for fast video on the Mac’s hard drive without compromising overall computer performance — a first for the Mac!. Video is compressed using a Conexant 416 MPEG-2 chip, compressing TV shows or home videos at a variety of transfer rates ranging from 1 to 12 Mbits/sec in MPEG-2. As far as program guides, myTV.PVR supports Titan TV, which is pretty good, so scheduling shows should be pretty easy. Out of all the “TV” cards for for the Mac, I’d recommend this one over all the others because it uses a hardware encoder rather than software and includes a FM tuner, making your Mac a true, usable media platform. The unit retails for $149.00 and is availalbe now.
Now I wonder if they’ll have a CableCard and HD version soon to compete with the next generation of Window’s Media Center PC’s.