Elgato Eye Netstream 4Sat Review (Part 2)

4/3/2014 10:05:53 AM


Select a channel for viewing involves the 'Live TV' option of the app's main menu. After choosing the satellite, you're presented with a channel list that displays the EPG-derived name of the current program. You can swipe down the list until the channel you want is found. Unfortunately, no means of defining favorite channels is provided; furthermore, the lack of 'wrap-around' means you have to scroll back up when you reach the end of the list. Elgato hopes to address these issues with future app updates.

Click on the channel, and it starts streaming to the device. PVR functionality is included. Hit 'pause' and a buffer starts filling up - pressing play continues from where you left off. Soundtrack selection is provided, and you can record programs for viewing later, too.

The Netstream 4Sat will appeal to households with multiple tablet and smartphone users

You can't watch one channel while recording another with the Android app, although Elgato claims this is possible with the Mac software. Furthermore, you can't yet specify where the app stores recordings - a moot point for Android users. They're held in the phone's memory, but it would be better if you could specify the memory card instead. Another main menu option accesses previously made recordings (which can also be played with the free VLC app). 'Guide' takes you to the EPG; if you're viewing UK channels (Astra 2x/Eurobird), that means now/next data only.

Dovetailing with an internet- derived EPG would be a welcome development. If you have a big-screen tablet and are receiving, say, Astra 1x or Hotbird, then you'll be able to make the most of the full 7-day EPGs that are supported. EPG-scheduling of recordings isn't allowed, and there's no 'red-button' teletext either.

Elgato Eye Netstream 4Sat Connectivity


On the whole, the system worked well with few streaming 'glitches'. Picture and sound (via headphones) were also impressive. Reliability will ultimately depend on the speed of your network, how many channels are being streamed and other network activity.

HD channels are converted to H.264 streams that seem to reflect the viewing device's capability (the resolution of 960 x 540-pixels mirrored that of my Samsung's screen). SD channels are left intact as 'transport streams' complete with teletext, subtitles, etc. They're not converted into H.264 because, according to Elgato, doing so would make channel-changes unacceptably slow. Adaptive transcoding enables the desirable Slingbox-like streaming of channels over the internet - rather than tethering you to a local network. Elgato couldn't say when or if internet streaming will be added.


The Netstream is an interesting product that will appeal to households with multiple smartphone and tablet users, thanks to its four tuners. It meets its claims, and attains a decent standard of performance. App features are rather limited, certainly when compared with a 'stand-alone' receiver.

Some of these shortcomings could be fixed via app updates, however


·         Price: $434.28

·         No tuners: Four DVB-S/S2

·         Support for DiSEqC 1.0 and Unicable: Yes

·         Sat>IP compliant: Yes

·         LNB support: Yes, for single, twin/dual, quad or quattro LNBs

·         Other features: Eyestream apps available for iOS (Apple iPad/iPhone), Android (smartphones and tablets, including various Samsung, Google and HTC models) and Amazon's Kindle Fire 2nd-gen/Fire HD e-reader

·         Software: Available for Mac (Elgato EyeTV 3, OSX 10.6 or later) and PC (Terratec Home Cinema, Windows 7 or later)

·         App features: Recording/ timeshift; EPG; soundtrack selection

·         Dimensions: 250(w) x 126(h) x 41(d)mm

·         Weight: 806g

·         Connections: 4x LNB inputs; Gigabit Ethernet; 2x USB ports (service only); power (DC 12V)



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