HD DVR to Elgato Hybrid or Mini HD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by whoooaaahhhh, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. whoooaaahhhh macrumors member

    whoooaaahhhh

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    #1
    I want to get a DVR and record to it and then output that as video to either an elgato hybrid or a mini HD, is this possible? Just for viewing, I don't want to use the comp as a DVR. The reason for this is that I am thinking that once I have captured it the DVR then the encryption will have to be removed so that the TV can interpret the signal, due to this I should be able to watch HBO and other pay channels on my computer right?
     
  2. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

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    #2
    Or you could get a DVR with firewire output and avoid the whole issue.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #3
    Such as? ... Linkety please. I would love an HD DVR with unencrypted firewire out.

    EDIT: Further, for the OP, are there any standalone PVRs that output ATSC? Both the input devices you are looking at expect that.

    B
     
  4. coal macrumors regular

    coal

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    #4
    I obviously don't know his intent in regard to information on using firewire, but this thread is a good start:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=386740&page=1&pp=30&highlight=avcvideocap
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    Thanks, I didn't see and HDD based PVRs on the list in that thread, only camcorders/set-top boxes, which again limit your choices of inputs. At one point, firewire seemed mandated for HDTV devices, but it seems to have fallen out of favor...

    B
     
  6. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #6
    i don't really understand what you're trying to do. why not just record with an eyetv? or even eyetv 500?
     
  7. whoooaaahhhh thread starter macrumors member

    whoooaaahhhh

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    #7
    Essentially...

    Essentially, I'm trying to record HD HBO, HD Showtime, etc. and get it to my computer.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    Who's your HBO/Showtime provider? Your best bet is to use their PVR hardware and see if any hacks exist like for the Dish Network PVR and DirecTV Tivos. If it's cable, the TiVo Series 3 might be a good option assuming your provider has Cablecard support.

    B
     
  9. Neurorad macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2006
    #9
    Elgato Hybrid

    The Elgato EyeTV Hybrid is useless for trying to view or record HDTV in at least the Los Angeles area. Does fine with SD from a cable box, but cannot view HD feeds. The over-the-air nonsense is worthless. All local non-pay stations show up as "Encrypted". Regular SD TV is fair. I do stress the unit trying to display on a 30" monitor despite hardware that is as good as it can get (Mac Pro QUad 3.0, 6 GB Ram, ATI X1900XT video, RAID0 Raptors).:mad:
     
  10. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #10
    Are there hacks for the Dish Network PVR? Do you have a link?
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
  12. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    #12
    I do this using my set top HD receiver with DVR. It is the Motorola one, 6612 (I think) through comcast as described in the above forum. It allows me to capture and record HD HBO to my Mac Mini. I use the firewire output and it works fine.

    Takes a bit to set up, but once up and running works well.
     
  13. whoooaaahhhh thread starter macrumors member

    whoooaaahhhh

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    #13
    My provider is Time Warner in NYC. Not sure what their hardware options are. Right now I'm just signed up for a standard def DVR, but I'm looking into getting their HD-DVR/HD service if it can run on my Mac Pro.
     
  14. Cerniuk macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2006
    #14
    Elgato Hybrid is DVR

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_video_recorder#Macintosh

    The Elgato Hybrid is a DVR... you can take external signals in via composite or svideo as well but it already can record television based on schedules and generate iPod video as an option.

    So far, high quality recording on the Hybrid is not acceptable (jitter, stop/start video gaps) and you instead stuck with VHS quality. (or so it seems with mine) I suspect that the USB 2.0 interface is the problem... likely overloaded.

    And speaking of USB 2.0, be aware that USB 2.0 performance is not typical of its peak laboratory rate of 480Mb/s. You will always get better performance from Firewire 400Mb/s due to its design (peer to peer coms, dedicated video transfer channel, etc).
     
  15. mwm macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2006
    #15
    USB is fine for an HD tuner...

    I've got a Mac Mini with both the TV Mini HD and an EyeTV Hybrid attached to it via USB. They captures flawless HD content on two channels at the same time. Capturing HD content doesn't take much more than the tuner; it's already an mpeg stream when the bits come off the air, so it's already compressed and encoded - all you have to do is push the bits to disk.

    Playback, as they say, is a b*tch. You have to have enough CPU to decode the mpeg stream, and enough I/O bandwidth to push bits to the display. Elgato and Miglia both say you need at least a dual G5 or a Core Duo. I couldn't get reasonable playback on a Core Solo or a Powerbook G4 - it was, as described here, "glitchy". After I replaced the Core Solo with a 2.0 GHz Core Duo (and upgraded the ram from .5 to 1GB), it played back beautifully. Shows I'd captured prior to the upgrade also played back beautifully.

    Live tv is also gorgeous (I've got the mini tied to the DVI port on a 52" RCA 1080i rear projection monitor). If I try capturing on one tuner while watching live tv on another, the results aren't quite perfect, though I'm still trying to decide whether this is because the signal was flaky that night or that's just asking to much of the system.

    All this is OTA. Getting a reasonable signal required installing an outdoor antenna. When I added the Hybrid, I put in a splitter and the weaker channels reported "Encrypted" on it and "Not available" on the Mini HD. Adding an inline amplifier from Radio Shack solved that problem.

    To answer the OPs question, neither of these are suitable for getting HD content off of another device (thought they make a better DVR than anything short of a Series 2 Tivo). To do that, you need a device that will output bits to a data port or ATSC.
     
  16. brett4got macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2006
    #16
    mwm: Can you tell us which hd tuner you prefer? I am looking to buy one of the ones you mentioned and it would be great to hear your preference?
     
  17. Neurorad macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2006
    #17
    Which one?

    I ended up with BOTH! At least for me, each one was good at only one thing. The Hybrid did a very good job at capturing ALL cable channels through a set-top box via the S-video output. Compared to an Elgato TV Mini, the hybrid via S-video looked better from the same source for standard definition TV. I was unable to use the Hybrid for ANY HD TV since it was only over-the-air and in the area of Los Angeles where I live, there is nothing available, even with a powered antenae. To get HD TV quailty, I ended up with the Miglia Mini HD since it connects directly to the cable source. For unencrypted HD feeds, such as Discovery, the quailty is perfect. It cannot handle encrypted premium channels. Between the two devices, I can get everything in SD (such as HBO, etc.) and quite a few HD channels at excellent quality (on my Mac Pro). There does seem to be a conflct in EyeTV between the two devices - sometimes I have to disconnect one. The biggest downside is the very high price.
     

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