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durija
Oct 23, 2008, 09:24 AM
I just got an eyeTV hybrid (2008) yesterday. Hooked it up and everything seems great except the picture quality. If I view at anything larger than the default (looks like about 640 px wide or so), the picture gets horrible. Everyone writes such glowing reviews about eyeTV, so I am pretty disappointed. I am I missing some key setting? Or is this what everybody else gets as well? By the way, I'm hooked up straight from the cable outlet (with the cable company's requisite filter in place) in the wall.



jbracco
Oct 23, 2008, 10:08 AM
I got one yesterday and I'm loving it! I still have the rabbit ears but i get the DTV over the air... I tried it out last night on the worlds series and it came out perfect.

The best part of all is one click to export it to ipod

Cave Man
Oct 23, 2008, 10:17 AM
I just got an eyeTV hybrid (2008) yesterday. Hooked it up and everything seems great except the picture quality. If I view at anything larger than the default (looks like about 640 px wide or so), the picture gets horrible. Everyone writes such glowing reviews about eyeTV, so I am pretty disappointed. I am I missing some key setting? Or is this what everybody else gets as well? By the way, I'm hooked up straight from the cable outlet (with the cable company's requisite filter in place) in the wall.

The problem isn't the Eye TV, it's your cable source. If you're in the US, that is likely a low bit rate MPEG-2 transmission. Cable (and satellite) companies have only a certain amount of bandwidth for transmission, thus if they oftentimes use lower bit rates to get the content down the cable.

I have my Eye TV used with a roof-top antenna and some of the stations also use lower bit rates, thus issues with pixelation in high motion scenes. The 720p stations are better for sports because of their 60 fps, but the 1080i stations have an edge for conventional programming (30 fps, but higher resolution). This is all on a 10 foot wide 1080p projector/Mac Mini system.

I wish the US broadcasters would switch to MPEG-4, but that does not seem to have happened yet.

jaw04005
Oct 23, 2008, 10:26 AM
I just got an eyeTV hybrid (2008) yesterday. Hooked it up and everything seems great except the picture quality. If I view at anything larger than the default (looks like about 640 px wide or so), the picture gets horrible. Everyone writes such glowing reviews about eyeTV, so I am pretty disappointed. I am I missing some key setting? Or is this what everybody else gets as well? By the way, I'm hooked up straight from the cable outlet (with the cable company's requisite filter in place) in the wall.

EyeTV can't make the quality of your cable better. I'm assuming you're not using QAM, just standard cable?

Your talking about watching 640x480 interlaced content on a 20" screen with a resolution of at least 1680x1050. That's a big difference in resolution. Not to even mention the bit rate your cable provider is compressing the original broadcast at to include all the different channels.

Your best bet is to use EyeTV with an over-the-air antenna picking up digital signals. That's the highest quality you can achieve. The next step down in quality would be watching clear-QAM digital channels that are provided by your cable company. The poorest quality would be watching regular SD cable and/or over-the-air.

kage207
Oct 23, 2008, 10:36 AM
I'm looking at this EyeTV. Is it worth it here in the US? How much would it to get a good quality picture on a 32" tv? Thanks.

durija
Oct 23, 2008, 10:39 AM
So much for replacing my dying TV with my iMac (unless I want to always sit really close). I'll still use it though, if only for the DVR features.

Thanks for the clarifications, Cave Man and jaw04005. What you say makes sense...unfortunately.

Chaszmyr
Oct 23, 2008, 10:39 AM
I used to use an EyeTV and I was very disappointed. I'd record a show that would take 2gb of hard drive space, and it wouldn't look half as good as a 500mb divx version of the same show that would be available on BitTorrent networks.

jaw04005
Oct 23, 2008, 11:31 AM
I used to use an EyeTV and I was very disappointed. I'd record a show that would take 2gb of hard drive space, and it wouldn't look half as good as a 500mb divx version of the same show that would be available on BitTorrent networks.

Again. EyeTV can't improve the quality of your source material. Most TV shows available on torrent networks are re-compressed over-the-air MPEG-2 recordings or DVD rips.

I get stellar quality with my EyeTV hybrid and an ATSC source.

durija
Oct 23, 2008, 11:52 AM
I get stellar quality with my EyeTV hybrid and an ATSC source.

What is an ATSC source? Sorry, I'm a little behind on video technology (obviously).

aristobrat
Oct 23, 2008, 12:17 PM
What is an ATSC source? Sorry, I'm a little behind on video technology (obviously).
Your local TV stations should broadcast in HD (on a channel different from their SD broadcast). The HD signal broadcast (in the US) is ATSC.

The difference between watching ATSC (HD) and NTSC (SD) on the EyeTV is the difference between day and night. :eek:

I don't have cable or satellite, so I have to plug an antenna into my EyeTV. Reception is perfect, and viewing HD channels in full-screen on my 24" iMac looks AMAZING. (Viewing SD channels looked so god-awful that I dropped them from my guide so I can't even accidentally click on them).

Your cable company probably rebroadcasts your local HDs using something called QAM, and your EyeTV 2008 should be able to tune into that. I don't have any experience with that process though...

durija
Oct 23, 2008, 01:04 PM
I'm more interested in cable channels than broadcast, so I may have to get the converter box from the cable company. Although, aren't all signals supposed to be HD in the USA in February? Doesn't that mean standard cable will have to be as well?

tkidBOSTON
Oct 23, 2008, 01:13 PM
I'm more interested in cable channels than broadcast, so I may have to get the converter box from the cable company. Although, aren't all signals supposed to be HD in the USA in February? Doesn't that mean standard cable will have to be as well?

Common misconception.

They're going digital, not HD.

jaw04005
Oct 23, 2008, 02:18 PM
Common misconception.

They're going digital, not HD.

Uhhh, not even that. The so-called "switch to digital" in the United States has everything to do with over the air, and nothing to do with cable systems.

They aren't required to upgrade or replace "analog" or "basic" cable. If you have regular cable, the cable company is not required to upgrade you to digital cable.

The only thing related between the digital transition and your cable companies is now they will receive your local broadcast networks digitally (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, PBS), just like you would with your antenna at home, and they'll convert that digital stream to an analog stream and redistribute it to you.

Of course, most cable companies already do this anyway.

In short ...

Got cable? Digital transition doesn't affect you.
Got satellite? Digital transition doesn't affect you.
Got an antenna? Digital transition affects you.

spice weasel
Oct 23, 2008, 02:37 PM
Got an antenna? Digital transition affects you.

Only if your TV does not have an ATSC tuner.

durija
Oct 23, 2008, 02:51 PM
Common misconception.

They're going digital, not HD.

Slaps self up side of head...I knew that. Duh. But there is sooooo much I don't know. I thought I was going use EyeTV and my iMac to replace my 12-year old and dying RCA 19" standard TV and gain DVR capabilities. Apparently not.

So if I pay Comcast for digital and use their box, do I get the clear QAM?
Do I get it, but can't watch a bunch of channels because of encryption?
Do I sound confused? I am.

aristobrat
Oct 23, 2008, 03:12 PM
IIRC, cable companies have to provide the local channels in digital (HD) unencrypted. You shouldn't need a box for those channels.

You will, however, need a box for all other digital cable channels (ESPN, HBO, etc). Hopefully someone here has used an EyeTV with a cable box and can give you some ins/outs on how well the EyeTV can change the channel on the box, etc.

consumedsoul
Oct 23, 2008, 03:16 PM
Love my EyeTV, downgraded to basic cable (like $13/month) for the cable connection in the room (didn't want to bother w/ antennae) and now DV-R just the shows I want, works great.

Now I just wish they can add the ability to record 2 shows simultaneously... :]

durija
Oct 23, 2008, 03:30 PM
Love my EyeTV, downgraded to basic cable (like $13/month) for the cable connection in the room (didn't want to bother w/ antennae) and now DV-R just the shows I want, works great.

How can your basic cable look great, while mine looks so awful? What am I missing here?

consumedsoul
Oct 23, 2008, 03:31 PM
You should be able to receive both analog AND digital/HD channels via auto-scan? I'm only recording the HD ones.

How can your basic cable look great, while mine looks so awful? What am I missing here?

mattraehl
Oct 23, 2008, 04:08 PM
The difference between watching ATSC (HD) and NTSC (SD) on the EyeTV is the difference between day and night. :eek:

I don't have cable or satellite, so I have to plug an antenna into my EyeTV. Reception is perfect, and viewing HD channels in full-screen on my 24" iMac looks AMAZING.

I'll second that. I gave the cable company the boot and get all my TV over the air via EyeTV & outdoor antenna. In my opinion this is the best use for EyeTV. Analog "basic" cable is going to look like crap on a high definition computer montior. The only thing I miss is ESPN & ESPN2, but I'm not paying the monthly fees to get two channels!

If you want HDTV & DVR functionality through cable or satellite, your best bet is to get the DVR from the cable company, or buy a TiVO.

Here's a taste of the difference. Some random CBS show OTA analog:
http://idisk.mac.com/matthew.raehl-Public/CBS_Analog.png

Now in digital!
http://idisk.mac.com/matthew.raehl-Public/CBS_Digital.png

durija
Oct 23, 2008, 05:17 PM
I've been keeping an eye here and also doing some searching, visiting other articles and forums. This is a whole lot more complicated than I thought. I'm going to rethink my strategy...maybe try an antenna. Got to keep costs down. Thanks to all who have contributed to my education!

Chaszmyr
Oct 24, 2008, 06:34 AM
Again. EyeTV can't improve the quality of your source material. Most TV shows available on torrent networks are re-compressed over-the-air MPEG-2 recordings or DVD rips.

I get stellar quality with my EyeTV hybrid and an ATSC source.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but there has to be more to it than that because my TiVo has better quality recordings than the EyeTV from my cable service, even when both videos are viewed on the same television.

BrianDavid0523
Oct 24, 2008, 07:30 AM
Yeah I tried connecting my Comcast box to my EyeTV, and no matter what settings I tried, I could not get any of the channels from the box other than the basic networks, and the picture quality was horrible. So I went back to using my HD Antenna, and I get excellent reception, but on occasion the picture will skip or loose reception if there are a lot of clouds or bad weather.

Also, if you connect the Comcast box to EyeTV, you have to change channels with the cable box, unless you use an IR Blaster to have EyeTV control the cable box.

At this point in time - I have to keep feeding the evil Comcast god in order to receive the other channels I want to view. Sux but that's life.

steviem
Oct 24, 2008, 07:42 AM
Here's a taste of the difference. Some random CBS show OTA analog:


:o Sacrilege! Thats 'How I Met Your Mother' and I have to download it especially as they don't televise it in England :(

ftaok
Oct 24, 2008, 09:15 AM
I'm not saying you're wrong, but there has to be more to it than that because my TiVo has better quality recordings than the EyeTV from my cable service, even when both videos are viewed on the same television.

If you're recording analog channels, it could be that the Tivo is using better compression than the EyeTV. Check to see if the file sizes are similar (you can use TivoToGo to get the Tivo recording onto your Mac).

Try recording a digital or HD show and I'm guessing that they'll look the same ... provided your Mac and/or Tivo are properly calibrated for display on your TV.

ft

durija
Oct 24, 2008, 11:11 AM
Update:
I found digital channels for local broadcasts, ie. 107 = 7, 105 = 5, etc., and EyeTV automatically gave me the bigger, sharper picture...quite nice.
The channel guide isn't terribly accurate, so it looks like some hunting will be necessary.


So it looks like this might be adequate for my needs, and I won't be buying a TV any time soon. Thanks all.

ftaok
Oct 24, 2008, 11:50 AM
durija,

Do yourself a favor and check out this webpage (http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/channels).

It's a page that Silicon Dust (makers of HDHomeRun) that tracks what channels are where for your local cable/fios operator.

It's extremely helpful in finding your clearQAM channels. As you've probably found out, you have lots of "blank" QAM channels and may be having a tough time finding your local HD stations.

ft

durija
Oct 24, 2008, 12:16 PM
It's a page that Silicon Dust (makers of HDHomeRun) that tracks what channels are where for your local cable/fios operator.

It's extremely helpful in finding your clearQAM channels. As you've probably found out, you have lots of "blank" QAM channels and may be having a tough time finding your local HD stations.

That looks really promising. I'll check it out tonight. Thanks!

SCStevens04
Oct 24, 2008, 01:31 PM
My EyeTV Hybrid picture stinks too using basic cable. Hopefully clear QAM will improve things, but I wouldn't have bought if I would've know about the poor picture quality.

durija
Oct 24, 2008, 07:00 PM
ftaok, thanks but I don't understand how to use the channel information from Silicondust to access the channels through eyetv. Channels I want to see are not an option. And I am confused by the channel + different programa. Is there somewhere I can go to find this out?

ftaok
Oct 24, 2008, 08:38 PM
ftaok, thanks but I don't understand how to use the channel information from Silicondust to access the channels through eyetv. Channels I want to see are not an option. And I am confused by the channel + different programa. Is there somewhere I can go to find this out?

durija,

I can help you out a little, but I'm making some assumptions.

1. You're in Seattle, so I used zip code 98101.

2. You're on Cable ... not sure who the provider is out there.

3. You're interested in viewing the HD versions of your local networks (typically, that's all that is usually available in clearQAM).

OK, with those assumptions, I see the following.

I see that channel 25 is your local MyNetwork. On your cable, you'll find it on digital QAM channel 96-1. If you set your EyeTV correctly, you'll find that channel 96-1 is on your channel list. I just noticed that it might also show up on channel 106-3.

Your CW station looks like it's on channel 111-2, Fox looks like 111-1.

I'm not sure how accurate this is ... but it's a start.

A good resource is AVSForum. There should be a local thread for the Seattle area. Many folks there should have the channel assignments for the clearQAM stations on your cable provider.

durija
Oct 24, 2008, 10:02 PM
This is the part that I don't get. how do I select 96-1, etc?
It doesn't show up in the program list. Is there an over ride I am missing?

ftaok
Oct 24, 2008, 10:18 PM
This is the part that I don't get. how do I select 96-1, etc?
It doesn't show up in the program list. Is there an over ride I am missing?

I can't answer that since I don't actually own an EyeTV. I'm guessing that you should try to rescan your channels. Make sure you select digital cable as a source ... if there is a choice when you rescan.

Good Luck