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Summary:

When I was at Macworld Expo in January, I witnessed an unexpected meeting between a Miglia executive and an Apple executive, but didn’t think too much of it until this week. What happened this week is that Elgato, home of the EyeTV software that Miglia uses […]

When I was at Macworld Expo in January, I witnessed an unexpected meeting between a Miglia executive and an Apple executive, but didn’t think too much of it until this week.

What happened this week is that Elgato, home of the EyeTV software that Miglia uses in concert with its hardware products, pulled its license from Miglia. This comes on the heels of Apple removing all Miglia products from the online Apple Store. Both strange and unexpected developments made me recall an event I witnessed at Macworld Expo.

While I was at Miglia’s booth checking out their products and talking to their representatives, I saw a Miglia executive approached by a lady who identified herself as being with Apple. She said she was there to introduce him to someone else at Apple who was her European counterpart. Sure enough, another gentleman made his way through the exhibit hall crowd and they all left the booth to go have a meeting together.

Though largely overshadowed by the iPhone, the AppleTV was a big story at Macworld Expo. But one of the criticisms of the product has been that it does not record television. Miglia’s products do. In addition, the Apple TV is designed largely for high definition televisions. And at Expo, Miglia was showing off its HDTV recording capabilities. Finally, the AppleTV has a USB port. When I asked the Apple reps at Expo what it was for, I was told “The official line is that it is for servicing.” Uh-huh. And maybe it could be used to plug in external devices like iPods, digital cameras or … Miglia’s TVMini HD.

  1. I’m not sure you aren’t connecting unrelated events. First of all — if Miglia lost the Elgato license to the software, there’s a good chance it would have to be pulled from Apple stores. So, those events are one and the same. (One caused the other, not some imagined event.)

    As for the meeting, who knows. People meet up all the time at those things. They’re in the same industry.. People always want to schmooze, meet, trade business cards. No big deal.

    I’ve heard a lot of people hoping for Apple to add DVR functinality to Apple TV, but I don’t see how this makes sense at all. That’s looking backwards, at old delivery systems. Apple TV is forward-looking — oneo f the first great examples of “over the top” delivery and cable-bypass programming.

    It’s a step up, not a hack for old technology.

    – Joslyn

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  2. The removal of Miglia devices from the Apple Store came prior to Elgato pulling the license.

    As regards adding DVR functionality to Apple TV being “looking backward,” I don’t consider high definition television “looking backward” And there is currently no way to watch high definition television using the Apple TV. The shows purchased from Apple are in a resolution lower than DVD quality.

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  3. While I agree with the statement that the real beauty of the iTV is the bypassing of broadcast TV I’m pretty confident that they’d sell a lot more of them a lot faster if there was DVR functionality. I’ve heard this out of many of my friends who are pretty tech savvy. It’s still a bit hard to convince people that we’ll soon be getting all of our media as a la carte downloads. Adding DVR would help bridge that gap. However I don’t believe Apple will do it officially because they have to try to keep big media happy. That said a allowing little 3rd party add ons seems like a very cunning and Steve-like way to increase the functionality of this product, much like with iPod accessories.

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  4. Apple wants people to purchase shows from the iTunes stores – period. AppleTV gets those shows onto your TV, helping to sell more shows at $1.99 a pop. It’s really a new paradigm in how we consume television – instead of buying a cable subscription at $50/month, you could buy season passes to just the shows you want and save a bundle of money. In internet terms, Apple is disintermediating the cable companies. While it makes sense from a consumer standpoint that Apple would allow a third party TV tuner to attach, if you put yourself in their extremely well focused business shoes it doesn’t make sense.

    I’m with Joslyn as to the Elgato/Miglia rift. Having some history with software companies, my guess is there’s some very delinquent monies owed, nice words got nowhere, threatening legal letters got products pulled from Apple and terse public statements say the rest. I know the Elgato team are good, old time Mac guys, so it must be something fairly serious for them to go down this path. Hopefully the 2 companies will resolve their issues.

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  5. If it can’t record, I won’t be interested.

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  6. ATSC tuners for AppleTV, much like FM tuners for iPods and Parallels for Mac are the security blankets people need to buy Apple Gear.

    Sounds to me like Apple is buying Elgato and wants to discuss
    Front Row / AppleTV compatibility with Miglia.

    Let’s speculate more!

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  7. I WANT cable. Millions of channels of junk for $50 pm. Man, if I got only the shows I WANTED to see, I wouldn’t watch so much TV, and I would have to get a life.

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  8. From The Mac Observer…

    Miglia Announces TVMax+ TV Tuner and Recorder
    by Jeff Gamet, 8:35 AM EDT, March 16th, 2007

    Miglia Technology announced the immediate availability of the TVMax+ TV tuner and recorder on Friday. The TVMax+ supports analog cable and antenna signals, captures programs in real-time as MPEG-4, records content to iTunes for transfer to an iPod or AppleTV, digitizes VHS tapes to DVD in real-time, is compatible with tvtv and TitanTV, includes coaxial and Composite S-Video inputs, and connects to your Mac via USB 2.0.

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  9. Ah…maybe it’s the other way around: Apple is buying El Gato. That seems to make more sense to me, since they have both pieces of the video puzzle.

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  10. I thought it was Apple buying out El Gato. If memory serves me right, did not the former CEO of El Gato become the head of Apple Germany back in late 2005?

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