EyeTV Hybrid recording on Duo Core Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ejdd, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2006
    I just purchased an EyeTV Hybrid and I'm a little disappointed. I'm wondering if my Mac is underpowered to run it properly.

    I have a 1.66 Duo Core Mac Mini 120GB HDD 1GB RAM
    OSX 10.4.8 and EyeTV 2.3.1

    I make sure other apps (Itunes, browsers etc.) are all closed.

    I can view tv fine but as soon as i come to record (with or without watching live tv as well) the recording is very broken up, generally unwatchable - or at the least very annoying to watch.

    I'm recording on the highest setting (DVD 90 Minutes setting). If I switch to a lower (DVD 180) its a pretty underwhelming picture.

    Is my MAC just too slow to be doing this?

    Any comments would be appreciated.

  2. macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2006
    I'm no expert, but I have an Elgato Hybrid too, and I'm sure when I go to "preferances" in Eye TV, then tell it I'm using an Elgato Hybrid from the selection, it doesn't give me the "DVD 90 Minutes" selection. It only says something about it being M-PEG 2 and "Records... without loss".

    So, I'm guessing maybe you need to change those settings, tell it you're using a Hybrid !?
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2006
    The Mpeg 2 option is for digital signal recording (as the hybrid is expecting the compressed Mpeg2 from a digital signal). If you check the Analog settings you have 3 options
    VCD normal
    DVD 180 good
    DVD 90 better
  4. macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2006
    London, UK
    I have a similar setup and from time-to-time I experience the same problem, which a reboot seems to cure. But only since I've downloaded the new 2.3.2 software which I have problems with. However, since you're using 2.3.1 and our systems are not exactly the same, I'd suggest you back it up and grab a copy of 2.3.2 from the elgato site. This is a major revision with such a minor number. Perhaps it will work much better with your system, and I expect it might. Let us know.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    The Mini should have enough power, it may be the hard drive that can't keep up.... You'll pretty much need a 7200RPM drive to record that quickly...
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2006
    I put in a trouble ticket with Elgato - their advice was to try the latest 2.3.2 version and also the 2.3.1 version. Both had the same issues.
    Maybe you are right - the drive isn't fast enough - it caches live tv as well as the recording so maybe the combination of caching live and recording is the issue. i might try reducing the live tv cache - see if the processor is powerful enough to play directly.....
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 21, 2006
    Congrats. on EyeTv Buy!
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004
    I've found no issues

    I bought an eye-TV DTT. It's not the hybrid, but the software is great. I've used it on my PPC G5, my brother's 1.66 Mini and my new 2.66GHz Mac Pro.

    In every installation it worked great. In fact, I happen to think its one of the best bits of kit not created/written by Apple Engineers.

    As for the issues, are you sure there's nothing running or using the Mac's resources? Sounds like something in the background may have hung. I tend to use 'top' within Terminal to make sure.

    Hope you sort your issues out, because I feel its a great product.

  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2006
    I got the reply back from Elgato.
    Their response:

    "I'm trying to confirm if your Mac mini does have a problem, perhaps with the highest recording quality (which should need a G5 or higher)."

    So I'm guessing the mini isn't powerful enough for the highest quality analog recording (DVD90 quality)

    I'm resigned to it recording on the middle (DVD180) quality.

    Yes, I agree - the software is awesome though
  10. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    FWIW, I've recorded on my mini - same specs as yours but with a 100GB drive, and I find the same issues when I try to record with too high a quality. In fact, my iMac (1.8GH Core Duo) seems barely strong enough for those settings.

    Conversely, recording HDTV off the air works quite well (obviously, as there's no further compression required).
  11. macrumors G4

    May 10, 2004
    With an EyeTV 200, a single 1.8 GHz G4 (on a 100 MHz bus) is more than enough to record MPEG2 High quality (DVD90). It uses about 70% if you're viewing, but the recording itself uses almost no CPU. The software compression of the Hybrid kills you.
  12. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I'd be stunned if it was the drive - the data rate isn't that great, and, like I said, there are no issues with HDTV, which has a much higher rate. For whatever reason (poor Intel code?), standard-def compression tears through CPU cycles.

    And this is with the Hybrid, although I'd expect it to behave like a 200.
  13. macrumors G4

    May 10, 2004
    I fixed my post. The 200 has hardware compression (even MPEG4). The Hybrid does not.
    The 250 does not have MPEG4.
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2006
    i'm sure now it's the processor speed that's the limit. Unfortunately no free to air HDTV for me. I live in the mountains in Canada and no signal gets up here.

    Still, for a cheap unit the hybrid still does OK.

    If I were to purchase again, i'd probably look and one of the external elgato's or the plextor, which do the external encoding.

    Thanks for you help.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2006
  16. macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2006
    Quartz slowing you down?

    One thing that might help you. According to the macosxhints article below, if you run the eyeTV using the full screen interface the motion background stays running all the time, even when you can't see it.


    You might try to replace the fancy background (with a still, black billboard using quartz composer) to save CPU cycles.

    Thanks for posting your problem. I am planning on getting a Mac mini with either the Hybrid or DTT pretty soon, and would appreciate hearing if this, or other suggestions have helped. I might hold out now until core 2 duos come out to get a little extra zing.

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