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Old Dec 28, 2012, 04:46 PM   #1
herr327
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Home Entertainment Question (Incl EyeTV)

I have been doing some research on how to effectively set up a home entertainment system throughout the house. I think I have come up with a good solution that will service my needs and I would like to run it by you all to see if I have covered my bases. I am primarily interested in digitally recording cable programs and having all of those automatically uploaded into iTunes to be available for playback on other TVs, iPads, iPhones, and laptops in my home network and, at times, copied onto DVD using my MBP. To accomplish this, I have opted for the following set-up:

EyeTV HD or EyeTV Hybrid (more on this is a second)
Dedicated Mac Mini 2.5 GHz connected to EyeTV
Sony Bravia 46" LCD TV 1080p 120 HZ
3 Apple TV 3s to connect other televisions throughout the house

Concern:
I have Timewarner cable (about 60-70 channels) that I receive through coaxial cable directly into the TV mentioned above (no cable box). Because of this, it seems I need to use EyeTV Hybrid vs EyeTV HD but I would like to use the HD in case I would ever upgrade cable and need to use a box in the future....is it possible to use the EyeTV HD without a cable box at this time? It seems like I would be able to plug the EyeTV HD directly into my TV using the composite cable included with EyeTV HD.

Any other criticisms or suggestions with respect to this setup would be appreciated, especially with respect to EyeTV.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:58 AM   #2
herr327
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I was able to get in contact with Elgato concerning the EyeTV HD. They confirmed that if you are receiving cable directly to the TV via coaxial (meaning no cable box or satellite receiver) you can still use EyeTV HD connected directly to the TV to utilize the DVR functionality since the cable company is sending the channels unscrambled.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 01:58 PM   #3
cdavis11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herr327 View Post
I was able to get in contact with Elgato concerning the EyeTV HD. They confirmed that if you are receiving cable directly to the TV via coaxial (meaning no cable box or satellite receiver) you can still use EyeTV HD connected directly to the TV to utilize the DVR functionality since the cable company is sending the channels unscrambled.
For now. FCC recently ruled that cable cos could encrypt their basic tier QAM signals.

So - if you are counting on the QAM tuner in your TV or EyeTV equipment to tune unencrypted TV, be warned that those days are ending as soon as cable companies implement encryption.

When that will happen varies on who is talking about it. FCC has put in language that will allow consumers to access channels through "IP devices" - but what exactly that means is anyones guess.

That's why I just said to heck with it - put in a big OTA in my attic and purchased 2 HDHRs. 4 tuners on my network that can record ATSC OTA signals. I don't care what the cable companies do about TV anymore.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by herr327 View Post
I was able to get in contact with Elgato concerning the EyeTV HD. They confirmed that if you are receiving cable directly to the TV via coaxial (meaning no cable box or satellite receiver) you can still use EyeTV HD connected directly to the TV to utilize the DVR functionality since the cable company is sending the channels unscrambled.
One other note - I was using my HDHR plugged into the coax to tune clear QAM for quite a while on my cable provider...Time Warner.

In my experience, this made for a new hobby of re-tuning my tuners every week due to the cable co. making minor changes in frequencies and shifting channels around.

When I went OTA it became pretty much hands off.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 07:15 PM   #4
d21mike
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HDHomeRun (HDHR)

I made this my XMAS Vacation Project (for fun). Things are getting closer then when I played with this years ago but still not there yet for me. Unless you are happy with a limited number of OTA Channels or the ClearQAM Channels it can be frustrating. What I like about the EyeTV HD is that you are getting the feed from a Cable STB that has "all" of the channels. However, you are only getting 1 channel per EyeTV HD. So you are paying for multiple STB's and for multiple EyeTV HD's if you need more then 1 channel at a time which I do. I also have a SlingBox doing some similar but without the recording for LIVE TV in some rooms but not an ideal solution (only 1 at a time and slow channel changing).

Here is where I am at:

HDHomeRun Prime with CableCard gives you 3 Network Tuners. However, EyeTV does not support it. So for this you really need to go with a Windows Media Center (not for me). I am waiting for the their release of "Project:Connect" for DLNA Support. The cost of each CableCard on FIOS is $3.95 per month and you get almost all of the channels on FIOS but not with some cable companies. Fingers crossed that EyeTV will support it.

HDHomeRun Dual. Two Channels for OTA or ClearQAM. This works pretty well with EyeTV but the content is limited.

The problem with EyeTV converting MPEG2 Shows to iOS Compatible MPEG4 is the load on the Mac CPU. Pretty heavy. I have done some limited testing with WDTVLive Boxes being able to see the EyeTV Connect App and play the recorded MPEG2 shows without the encoding to MPEG4. But I do like the ATV Versions better.

And then what about LIVE TV. This is where I hope the Project:Connect DLNA comes in. They say will be ready by end of this month but not word yet. Maybe after CES 2013. Will see.

Good Luck. I would just like to lower my monthly hardware cost and have a better experience. But hard to beat the experience with the latest FIOS Whole Home DVR Service from an experience standpoint. I have 2 DVR's and 3 STB'S but to support all my TV's I will need 3 more STB's (minimum). The cost is the killer in my case.
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