Terratec Cynergy T USB XS Diversity Inverness

These two digital TV tuners fromTerratec and Miglia have much in common: they both have two DVB-T tuners; they both use Elgato's EyeTV 2; and they both connect to your Mac using USB 2.

ITP SOLUTIONS
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Terratec Cynergy T USB XS Diversity

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These two digital TV tuners fromTerratec and Miglia have much in common: they both have two DVB-T tuners; they both use Elgato's EyeTV 2; and they both connect to your Mac using USB 2.

The two tuners diverge in their approach to solving the problem of watching and recording digital TV on your Mac. The Terratec Cynergy T USB XS Diversity, which for the sake of our sanity we'll henceforth refer to as 'the Terratec', is a USB stick-style device, very much like Elgato's EyeTV Diversity - albeit with a more colourful trim. It does also come with a USB extension cable, in case plugging it in directly fouls other USB or FireWire ports. The Miglia TV Duo, on the other hand, is the size of a large box of matches and connects to your Mac using a USB cable.

The Terratec has two mini antenna connections which hook it up to the included antennae, whereas the Miglia TV Duo has two full-size RF connectors to attach its antennae. The Terratec does come with converters for full-size RF antennae if you need to use something more powerful than the included antennae, however it's an inelegant solution, while Miglia's choice of interface provides the best of both worlds without the need for a converter.

Both devices' antennae have magnetic bases and come with easily attachable suckers, meaning you can position them just about anywhere. Both devices also ship with a chunky remote control.

In our tests, both devices installed and were set up without difficulty. It's important to note that in both cases, you'll need to use the included version of EyeTV 2, as the standard version of the current release, 2.3.2, doesn't support either.

Both the Terratec and Miglia operate in either Diversity mode, where both tuners are used to provide the strongest signal for watching or recording one programme at a time, or in Dual Tuner mode, where you can watch and record different programmes or record two different channels simultaneously.

In our tests, at home and in the office, we found that, with the antennae positioned in identical spots, the Miglia gave better reception on some channels than the Terratec. In our case, the Miglia tuned in happily to ITV and Channel 4, which was beyond both the Terratec and our EyeTV 400. Whether this is because the antenna in the Miglia, or the unit itself, is better is debatable. However, having native RF connectors, rather than having to attach an adaptor, gives it the edge if you do need to hook up an external aerial.

That really is the only difference in performance between the two. We prefer the look of the Miglia, but it's not as useable on a MacBook or MacBook Pro as the Terratec. There is, however, £25 difference in price between the two and that could be the key to deciding which to go for - although having had the opportunity to test both, we would pay the extra for the Miglia's better reception.

If cost is important to you, check online for the best price, which by the time you read this is likely to be less than the price listed here, or go for Elgato's EyeTV Diversity, which costs £96.

Verdict

Easy to install, perfect for people who want to watch TV on your computers.

Author: Kenny Hemphill

MacUser Online