CES 2015 Highlights: Elgato

January 14, 2015
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CES 2015 Highlights: Elgato

“If you build it, they will come!” It’s a cliché by now, but if you’re Elgato these truths are self-evident.  Beautifully designed and engineered in Germany, this innovative American company out of San Francisco keeps it low profile and simple amidst the madness at the Sands Hotel. Their innovative hardware and software speaks for itself. Three of their products impress. The first one is a classic.

Elgato Video Capture $95

This magnificent baby has been on the market since its original version in 1994 and is for Mac users especially. A very eclectic product, it allows you to transfer your antique personal media from VHS, Beta, audio eight-track, reel-to-reel, cassette tapes and analog video to iTunes. It’s really easy to use. The hardest thing to do is downloading its software direct off from the Elgato site. If you have problems as with all their stuff, email their support team and they’ll get right back to you.

It works really well. I have around 1200 VHS tapes from the 80s and 90s—including, as I’m sure you guessed, an immaculate collection of vintage porn from The Dark Brothers, DBM and Swedish Erotica worth a very pretty penny. I’ve transferred scores of videos with ease, although I’m not sure I’ll ever catch up. The only small issue is that you have to do sound checks on your audio and video as transfer begins. It will even transfer PAL tapes from Europe. And, for sure, the video quality is equal to original.

Transferring cassette tapes to digital format is a snap, too. Just don’t connect the yellow video cable. Then save to MP4, convert to .wav and burn to a CD. You can record it one song at a time, or save the whole thing to one track, dropping the transfer into other software to separate the tracks. All of it was easily posted to YouTube without dealing with a lot of dials or shifting cables.  It won’t work with MP3 files, however. And although it says on the box that the device works well on both PCs and Macs, a lot of bloggers insist it doesn’t work so well on PCs.


Elgato EyeTV Hybrid $175

A very useful way to add TV capabilities to your desktop Mac. Its IOS App means you can stream TV and recordings to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Its new AirPlay support system makes sharing video streams even easier. If you like to make movies of your own and if you’re a Mac user who’s been looking for a way to add live TV and DVR functionality to your computer, the Elgato EyeTV Hybrid is the solution you’ve been waiting for and means you won’t have to adapt to streaming video.


These days, computers and particularly iPhones and iPads are playing better than ever with TV content. Services like Hulu and Netflix offer large libraries of content, and cable providers are offering umpteen sites and apps for accessing streaming channels and on-demand content.  And for iMac Mini owners, EyeTV could indeed turn your desktop into a DVR from which you can also place video onto iPhones or iPads through M4-V files. If you’re into making your very own movies as the adult entertainment industry abandons L.A., the Hybrid offers you a fighting chance to enter that field, too.

Setting up for EyeTV on Apple hardware is easy. Software can be installed from a CD or downloaded straight from Elgato. You’ll also have to buy an aerial or cable connection to partner the TV tuner stick, which goes into the Mac’s USB slot.

Elgato Game Capture HD, Xbox and PlayStation High Definition Game Recorder $149.95

This sleek baby weighs less than 14 ounces and is only 4.4” x 3” by 1”. It allows you to record your Xbox or PlayStation gameplay to a Mac or PC, allowing built-in live streaming to YouTube and Twitch while sharing with Facebook and Twitter.

Perfect for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it means that with Elgato Game Capture HD, you can record and stream your Xbox or PlayStation gameplay and share your journey with your friends. The picture quality is high, a stunning, pristine picture on your monitor or on your HDTV.  Elgato Game Capture HD doesn’t need a lot of cables or even a power supply to record your game. With direct PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 input, all you need is a single cable to connect it to your console. You can also record your own quirky voice-overs and allow friends, literally from all over the world, to share and even participate. Approximately the size of a CD case, it really looks just dynamite.

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