Ignore the Sony in the background; this tiny gadget is all Apple.
It may not be as pretty as an Apple product (but seriously — what is), and at $180, it’s almost double the price of the ATV. But Elgato’s HDHomeRun comes in swinging for the fences with a trick Apple’s little black coaster doesn’t have: the ability to stream live TV, in HD, to your Mac or iPad — even over a 3G connection.
Not only that, the little box’ll let you record and timeshift shows, courtesy of Elgato’s EyeTV 3 software, which comes free (normally $80) with the HDHomeRun. Of course, EyeTV is only available for OS X, so Windows owners won’t be able to use this setup to stream to an iPad.
When he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.