Miglia TVMini Express Review

You have never previously had so much choice for recording TV to your Mac, so when something is done well, it needs to be recognised. The TVMini Express from Miglia, really is a miniature package, from the moment you receive the tiny box, you will wonder just how it will all work.

In the box you get the TVMini Express tuner. A white USB stick, not much bigger than a flash drive, but designed in white to compliment most of the Mac range. You also get a portable antenna, USB 2 cable and a CD containing a PDF user guide and the included 'The Tube' software.

Hooking the kit up is really easy, just install the software, plug in the tuner to a USB 2 port (if this is hard to get to, you can use the included cable to extend your port to an accessible location). The antenna is a different matter, and in my case I could not get a Freeview signal with the tiny portable one that is included. This will vary depending on your area. Plugging into my main roof aerial sorted the problem.

Once everything was auto-tuned in, this little device simply works, and does things very well. You can record to your hard drive, move recordings across to your iTunes library to later sync with your iPod, iPhone or AppleTV. Of course watch recordings or live TV on your Mac. It is even possible to have TheTube software float the TV viewer on top of all other applications. So you can carry on working whilst watching TV. Another nice feature is the ability to see in a single window, what is on the other channels, without having to switch over, this is a real timesaver. To round things off, the EPG is superb, it allows you to easily find programmes and schedule recordings with ease. For this bargain price, you really can bring TV to your Mac with ease.

Product: TVMini Express
Price: £34.00
Supplied by: Miglia
Contact: +44 (0)1442 827222

Miglia Dialog+ - handy for Skype & iChat

When Skype first hit the scene, manufacturers jumped on board with handsets that resembled regular phones. They were tethered to your computer by a wire, so not very friendly, other than making the user feel more at home by holding something up to their ear. Then came the advent of cordless handsets, followed by wifi enabled units, then dual purpose models that could make regular calls, as well as Skype based calls. Somewhere in between they slipped some totally useless Windows Live handsets in, thanks Philips.

Miglia have produced something a little different, with their Dialog+ handset, by making something that will appeal to both the Mac and PC markets. The Dialog+ offers the ability to make wireless Skype calls, compatible with both the Mac and PC. For Mac users they have also built in iChat AV capability. So with the press of a button, you can use this for your iChat contacts too.

In the box you get the handset itself, which is supplied with three AAA batteries. These charge by attaching the handset with the supplied USB cable. To get the Dialog+ to communicate with your Mac or PC you need to install some drivers and attach a USB dongle, which offers a range of up to 25 metres. It is a shame this does not use Bluetooth to connect. I personally hate USB dongles, but I suppose I can forgive Miglia for this. Once the drivers are installed, you need to adjust a few sound settings, connect the handset wirelessly to the dongle, and you are good to go.

You can control Skype and iChat in the normal way using your computer screen, then just use the Dialog+ to have the conversation. The main strength of this product is the ability to sit away from your computer and use it as a normal phone. You have buttons to access your Skype or iChat contacts, plus another one for call history. As long as you are signed into the relevant account on your computer, you can sit back and make calls from the comfort of your sofa.
In my tests, I found that the range was pretty good, I could get about 22 metres before things got a little choppy. The voice quality was pretty darn good, I could hear who I was talking to very clearly, and my guinea pig callers commented on how clear my voice sounded at their end.
The user interface is pretty good and the blue backlit screen is nice too, nothing fancy, but very functional.

In summary, I can recommend the Dialog+ to anyone who uses Skype and iChat a lot. It makes them more accessible and you will find that you use the services a lot more. The handset is well made and the low price makes the Dialog+ fantastic value for money.

Product: Dialog+
Price: £43.00
Supplied by: Miglia
Contact: +44 (0)1442 827222