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  • Elgato HD: Free PC or Mac Programming
Technology Articles > Entertainment > Televisions > Elgato HD: Free PC or Mac Programming

Cable, satellite, and almost all other forms of watching live TV can be very expensive. Most people actually spend more than $100 per month on television access! As crazy as that number may seem, it’s difficult to live without TV. After all, there are few better ways to relax and unwind after a long day at work than watching mindless programming, right?

Well, if you like watching TV but you don’t want to pay more than $100 per month for some decent shows, you might want to consider the Elgato HD TV device. This device is compatible with Mac or with a PC, but, when tested, it does work decidedly better with a Mac. If you’re looking for a way to cut cable or satellite TV prices, here’s what the Elgato HD box can do for you.

'Live Programming for Free

Now, the notion of getting television for free through your Mac or PC might seem like a great idea (and many people do use a desktop or laptop to watch TV and movies these days). However, you should know that the programming you’ll get through the Elgato HD box is somewhat limited to whatever programming can be captured without a pre-paid cable or satellite package. So, basically, you can forget about any hot new series for the most part. You will, however, be able to tune into some public programming with the Elgato HD box.

This device (shaped like a small box) can sit on your desk while connected via wire to your Mac or PC. Alternately, you can set up a wireless connection that makes moving around your home a lot easier, though, when tested, the wireless connection via PC was somewhat weak (much stronger when connected to a Mac). So, how much does it cost to get access to some free programming through your laptop or desktop? Well, that depends on what kind of computer you have.

Pricing and Availability

As with all things Mac, the Elgato HD box for Mac is more expensive than the PC version (much like buying an expensive car and then paying hundreds for an oil change). If you have a Mac, buying the Elgato HD box for your Mac will cost you around $170+. If you currently rock a PC, you will find that the Elgato HD box is much more reasonably priced around $100. Is $100 - $170 worth it for a box that picks up a few free channels? Well, that all depends on how you look at the cable situation.

If you want to cut your cable costs (and you can probably save thousands per year by doing this), the Elgato HD box might be worth considering. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to pick up all the channels that you might be wishing for. If you just want to add to your cable experience, I’m not sure that this device is a great alternative. As mentioned, when tested this box performed well with a Mac, but the wireless connectivity via PC was somewhat of a letdown (read: choppy and slow imagery). The Elgato HD box for PC and Mac is available now through various Internet electronics stores or through a retailer near you.