EyeTV + HDHomerun Prime?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MendotaMike, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    Twin Cities, MN
    Can anyone tell me whether Elgato's EyeTV software will "see" an HDHomerun Prime tuner (which is supposedly a Windows 7 only device)? I'm new to Mac, coming from a Windows environment, and would like to be able to use my existing HDHomerun Prime with my new iMac, but there is no trial version of the EyeTV software, and Elgato's "official" position is that EyeTV will not connect to an HDHomerun Prime. I've seen some indications (including on this forum) that it might be possible, but cannot find any definitive answers, much less any guides to making it work.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2003
    Officially no, but if you go over to this thread on AVSforum, it seems a couple people have been able to make it work with a slightly older version of EyeTV.
  3. macrumors member

    May 8, 2009
    As the person that posted the question I can say it will work. I have 2 HDHR-Primes, right now it can only receive unencrypted channels through EyeTV. I'm working to figure that issue out as we speak.

    If you have a strict firewall setup you'll have to unblock a UDP port I figured out: UDP port 65001 to

    Interestingly enough it seems like 3.4.3 does a better job at tuning and accepting channels than 3.5.4 does. 3.5.4 is using a different compile of libhdhomerun (a linux lib used to communicate with HDHR devices) and I believe the less modified version in 3.4.3 is what provides it better compatibility.

    The Prime will support the channel : program tuning model over the newer preferred Prime vchannel method, tuning definitely works with EyeTV.

    EyeTV has limited support for displaying encrypted channels, at first I thought this information was stored in the channel information EyeTV keeps, but it would appear after some testing this weekend that its actually a little trickier. It seems EyeTV scans that channel, sees that its encrypted and based on the connected device config will/won't show you the channel.

    Obviously this is to prevent showing garbage, but in the Primes case because it can decrypt encrypted channels through the cable card it still seems possible if I can figure out where EyeTV stores its device config info. Esp since Elgato sells a European cable card-esque device cable of showing encrypted channels that works through EyeTV.

    I originally posted to AVS because I didnt see a ton of traction on MacRumors on this topic, but its nice to see this topic has others interested in it as well.
  4. macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2010
    Colleyville, TX
    Love this topic, just purchased a prime and would love to have eyetv support it.

    Anyone know if Elgato are working to support it in a future version of eyetv?
  5. macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2010
    Colleyville, TX
    EyeTV support - real reason

    While it is not obvious from either Elgato or Silicon dust the real reason EyeTV does not support the 'Prime' is that Apple has not secured the rights from the various content providers.

    This came from Elgato suppport direct when I asked the question.
  6. macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Why would Apple have to secure rights, when it's third-party hardware and third-party software? Silicon Dust already has an iPad app that supports the HDHomeRun Prime, which had to be outright approved by Apple, so there is no reason they shouldn't be able to release an OS X app that doesn't need ANYTHING from Apple to exist.
  7. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    The real reason for the non support is the Cable Card.
  8. macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2010
    Colleyville, TX
    Okay, I'll bite ... why?
  9. macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2012
    Working for me, kind of

    I got the prime a few days ago, set it all up sans M-card. I'm surprised to say that on FiOS, clear QAM includes some stars and encore channels too! More than enough stations, but the numbering is really messed up. I'm wondering how it will work once I get the cable-card installed and set up.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    Apple does not have the support for the DRM that Windows does- providers don't want you to be able to bypass the "Do Not Copy" tags and I'm willing to bet Elgato does not want to go through all the licensing and development hassles for what would be a niche product and probably not return their investment.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    Eyetv cannot even play copy freely encrypted channels from the Prime since it lacks support. It doesn't even try, it just says the channels are encrypted, even though the Prime can decrypt these channels. It has nothing to do with DRM. Obviously if it was a DRM issue you would not be able to simply watch these encrypted copy-freely channels in VLC on any Mac.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    Actually, the DRM involved is probably the "do not copy" flag - Windows has the end to end protection needed to properly follow it; Apple to the best of my knowledge doesn't in the OS. Elgato would need to properly follow that in order to sell a program that works with the prime, and i'd guess the costs vs return don't justify it.
    That some software can watch some of the channels doesn't change the DRM issue since it's not the encryption but the broadcast flag that is the relevant item, IMHO.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    Yes I understand what you and the other posters who brought DRM into the discussion are saying. That is not the issue here. The issue is EyeTV does not try to play _any_ encrypted channels. Even ones with CCI set to copy freely.

    I thought the comment about VLC illustrated my point that this is not an issue with CCI, instead it is an issue with Eyetv having no support for the Prime thus not having any concept of a Hdhomerun unit that can view encrypted channels (or have more than 2 tuners.. lol). I guess it didn't work.

    Here, let me be more clear:

    This channel plays fine in VLC, on mac, and as you can see the CCI is copy freely. It would not play if the CCI was restricted.

    $ hdhomerun_config PRIME get /tuner2/vstatus
    vch=570 name=ESPN HD auth=subscribed cci=unrestricted cgms=n/a

    Here is the same channel in EyeTV:

    Do you get it now?

    I would be interested to hear when Elgato plans to add support for this product.
  14. macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    If I were to guess I'd say probably never, for based on their iPad app FAQ:
    The lack of an approved DRM system in OSX tells me that they'd have to build one and get it approved; my guess is the cost is simply prohibitive relative to the estimated sales. in short, it's a money loser for them.

    That's the reason I said it was a DRM issue with the broadcast flags. It's not a technical issue (hence my VLC comment) but a legal and economic one.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    There is no issue with broadcast flags, DRM, or legality on UNRESTRICTED, COPY FREELY channels (which includes 99% of channels on my fios). There is no DRM, they are streamed from the Prime just like any other broadcast channel. Please don't confuse people with this nonsense talk.

    An economical issue of adding full support for a tuner device that already has partial support to a PVR application that costs $80? I have not seen any statement from Elgato confirming this, but I would be disappointed if that were the case. At least it would be a valid explanation, unlike the "DRM" explanation given earlier in the thread which is completely irrelevant given the CCI flags of the channels I would like to tune.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    I don't think you understand what is being said about DRM. You are only considering one subset of the entire spectrum of possibilities. It's not that some channels are streamed freely or the DRM itself, it's that there is a DRM scheme that must be considered in order to access channels from the Prime, regardless of which ones they are. Even the copy freely have a broadcast flag, even if imposes no restrictions. Elgato would need to ensure they can properly operate with the flags as well as satisfy the content owners / providers that their solution will honor *all* the restrictions; which necessitates having the proper protections in place. Windows provides, as part of the OS, the proper controls to enface the DRM and as such manufacturers can use that to build products that stream TV channels.

    OSX does not do this so it's unlikely Elgato would even try due to the costs of compliance and certification.

    So, while it may be technically feasible it's not economically feasible given the low demand for such a product.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    Yes, why add support for 99% of channels when there is 1% that won't work. You make a compelling argument.
  18. macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    That's not the argument - it's how can Elgato do this in a way that doesn't expose them to legal risk for breaking the DRM. Just because a channel is copy freely doesn't mean it always will be or that very program will be (or that it is the same on all cable systems) - so Elgato would need to develop a way to deal with the more stringent DRM that satisfies the providers to avoid legal problems. That is the issue, regardless of if it is 1% or 99%.
  19. macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2012
    NY, NY
    I hate to call people out on things, but you are incorrect as to where the copy-compliance happens with this product.

    Right now Elgato/EyeTV could, without any help from Apple, allow for users to tune to and record channels from the HDhomerun Prime. But ANY channel that is marked Copy-Once will not be streamed from the HDHomeRun Prime, except to devices that have support for the CCI flags.

    More Details:
    The DRM/copy protect compliance checks take place within the HDHomeRunPRIME; it communicates with computer to see what OS it has and what it is allowed to stream to it.

    I have a Prime and it works like this:
    Once Prime is connected and paired with cable company, I can go to the Primes webpage, and check to see tuner status from ANY computer on the network.

    I can connect to the prime and configure WMC to connect to the Prime; during this process the computer and prime figure out what can be streamed to the computer. I am now able to watch any program that my CAM card allows me (Conditional Access Module, or CableCard) to tune to; this is based on my cable subscription; if I don't pay for HBO, I don't get to tune to HBO. WMC will allow me to record ANY channel that is marked copy-freely by the cable company.

    Now, on my OS X machines; I can do the following with my Prime.
    I can download the HDhomerunconfig_gui app and connect to any of my Primes tuners; and tune to a channel. This small app is not very graceful, but allows for quick viewing via VLC if you know what QAM channel your programs are on. If a channel is marked as copy-freely I can open VLC on OSX and watch it. If a channel is marked as copy-once, VLC will not display a stream, as the HDHOMERUN PRIME pretty much says 'NOPE, No can do.' This works for both Clear-QAM and encrypted QAM channels.

    This is the crux of the issue; CableLabs would never have certified the Prime if this violated the Copy Protect protocols. I'll say it again, and also a few more times, the PRIME handles the decryption and initial Copy-Protect enforcement.

    Likewise, with MythTV I can watch and record anything that is marked Copy-Freely on ANY platform, OS X, Linux, Windows. The only thing that is restricted is the Copy-Once channels. This works for both Clear-QAM and encrypted QAM channels.

    You did note that there are TWO systems working here. Encrypted QAM channels require a Cable Card (CAM) to decrypt them; which is what the Prime does. Copy Control Flags (CCI Flags) are flags set by the cable companies on each channel, this is where the computers OS comes into play; as only Microsoft has worked out, licensed and integrated the CCI tech into their platform.

    When I try and use EyeTV to control the Prime I can tune to and view any Clear-QAM channels; anything that is Encrypted QAM is not viewable; regardless of the CCI flag. Elgato has chosen NOT to support ANY of the Prime's decryption functionality. I seriously doubt that this is a legal issue with encryption/decryption. I say this because SiliconDust provides the no-frills front end, that will stream any channel to a OS X computer that is marked Copy-Freely.

    Again, in summary the PRIME handles all of the compliance issues; if the computer requesting the stream supports CCI flags, then all channels subscribed to are streamable. If the computer requesting the stream does not support CCI flags, then only subscribed channels that are marked copy-freely are streamable. THIS IS REGARDLESS OF CLEAR-QAM or ENCRYPTED QAM.

    Again, if I can view the channel through the SiliconDust App, I can view it from any machine, Elgato has simply CHOSEN not to support this tuner at this time.
  20. macrumors member

    May 8, 2009
    Over the last several months I've done everything short of modifying the binary because hex and I don't get along so well. I can tell you that Elgato could do as we've described pretty easily. The package contents run an old version of the hdhomerun package.

    In fact updating it proved to provide better support for tuning to clearQAM when working with the HDHR-Prime vs the HDHR.

    Unfortunately, EyeTV seems to not rely on the device for CCI detection as I believe it should. But rather just assumes that anything passed back is unreadable with the HDHR configured. EyeTV does support some EU CCI devices which gives me hope that there's a potential hack, though I've yet to find one.

    I've yet to find the code that supports the blocking of CCI channels, if we could find that and repackage the .app then I think you'd be in business because it would be up to the HDHR-Prime whether it wanted to stream it with the handshake, much like it does with VLC. With the benefit of using EyeTV as a simple tuning device.

    The very fact that they make a SAT card with a m-card equivalent in the EU

    And they have their own EU network box, and they provide the backend for the iPad HDHR-Prime app (that can pull copy-freely content and display it).. albeit in SD (which WTF, seriously?, with the iPad 2 being the requirement, and Wireless-N, HD streaming is more than possible..)

    It just goes to show that the inner workings of EyeTV could do it, we just have to find the right piece to manipulate.
  21. macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    Correct. As I have said, it's an economic decision on Elgato's part - the benefits to them outweigh the cost and thus they've decided to forgo doing this. My guess is the simply don't think the cost and hassle of getting certified will generate enough revenue to be profitable.
  22. macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2002
    Hmmm - as European i am not familiar with the american cable TV system. However there is a cable tuner available here for DVB-C with a port for a CI module, which can take a card from the cable provider, allowing to decode the program: Terratec H7.

    I don't know whether that would be compatible with american cable TV, but at least it's officially supported by Elgato. Maybe it could be an approach for further investigation.

    Also separate USB-CI modules have been reported to be used by EyeTV for decryption of TV channels.
  23. macrumors 68020


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    HDHomeRun Prime without CableCard Installed

    Does EYETV support HDHomeRun Prime without the CableCard Installed. This should be like the HDHomeRun Duel but with 3 Tuners. Right?
  24. macrumors member

    May 8, 2009
    Mike if I remember correctly I had to hack EyeTV to recognize the Prime, after which it did behave like a dual, but with only 2 tuners accessible because it basically sees it as a hdhomerun. In order to do this I believe I opened up the EyeTV package contents and replaced the libhdhomerun folder with the one available from Silicon Dust.

    EyeTV can definitely handle decrypting channels (the same app works in Europe to do similar decryption) and since the Prime handles it and sends a stream, I've always thought it to be possible.

    The closest I ever got a year ago was for EyeTV to recognize the Prime and through some jiggering get it to pull the cablecard channel list, beyond that I couldn't figure out where EyeTV stores the info on the channel flags. I thought I had found it in a plist file but modifying it didn't help.
  25. macrumors 68020


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    Thanks for the reply. I did get the Prime and before my CableCard got here I tried it and I "think" it worked like the dual but I can't say for sure because I decided to get the dual also days later. I am currently using both the Prime with CableCard and the Dual. However, I am only using the Dual with EyeTV. I am hoping EyeTV decides to fully support the Prime in the future but looking for other uses in the time being. I am looking forward to seeing what SD has in store with the DLNA Connect Feature coming soon.

    This is really just a hobby at the moment to see what can be done. I have a 5 bedroom house and looking for ways to distribute tv without needing a cable box on every tv (currently have fios whole home with 2 dvr's and 3 stb's at a cost of $57 per month but could use 2+ more stb's). EyeTV seems to work pretty well as a DVR for 90% of my recordings (ABC,CBS,NBC etc.) but not sure how to handle live tv. I am testing the WDTV Live for direct playback of MPEG2 and also testing MPEG4 from iTunes (EyeTV prepares - but every CPU overhead).

    At this point the verizon fios equipment is a much better experience with all cable channels but much higher cost. The fios 6 tuner media server is due out at some point but was hoping for other options.

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