Should I Have Gotten the EyeTV Hybrid?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by TheSpaz, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #1
    I just got the EyeTV 250 thinking it was going to be really cool. It is very cool but, I only have regular analog cable. However, I've been reading about all of this HDTV and free-to-air HD content and being able to capture it with an antenna and it's making me think that my purchase was an unwise one. What are even the chances that I'd be able to get any HD content in the small town I live in? Also, if the Hybrid is so much better, how come it's half the price of the 250? Is it because the Hybrid uses your computers processor rather than the device itself to decode the signal? In every other aspect, the Hybrid seems like the better tuner.

    Final question is: Did I make the right decision?
     
  2. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #2
    Okay, nevermind. I still really really like my EyeTV 250....and I did a little extra research today and found out that my area only gets like 2 free-to-air HD channels and the signal strength is pretty weak. So, I feel like I made the right choice now.

    Disregard this thread, it was pointless. Sorry. How do I delete it?
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    No worries. We'll keep it around for others to research.

    Basic summary: Hybrid is great for OTA HDTV but eats up a ton of CPU. 250 doesn't do HD but plays nicer with your Mac (i.e., not CPU hog).
     
  4. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    spaz,

    It really depends on what you want to do. In your small New Hampshire town, who is the cable provider? Try to find out what they send out over the cable. For the most part, analog/digital cable doesn't really mean anything. For example, does your cable provider have a digital tier of service? If so, then they are sending out the digital channels through the same wire that they send the analog stuff. You just need the right tuners to view it.

    Like I said in the other post, there are three tuners out there for USA. NTSC, which is what your 250 has. ATSC, which is included in the Hybrid, along with NTSC. QAM, which the EyeTV 500 (discontinued) and the Miglia TVmini HD/HD+ has.

    If you want HD, then the 250 was the wrong device. You would need a Hybrid or the TVmini HD for HD and digital. The question is where you get the HD signals.

    If you live relatively close to a big city, chances are that the local stations are also broadcasting digitally and in HD. Depending on many factors, you may be able to tune into HD-OTA with just a crappy antenna. The beauty is that if you get a signal, the picture will be crystal clear. No snow and fuzz like analog OTA.

    If you can't tune into HD-OTA, then maybe QAM is an option. Many cable companies pass along the local HD channels unencrypted. You would be able to tune into those stations with a QAM tuner. You'll need to do some research to see what the cable company puts out. Check out avsforum.com for more info. It's likely that there are many HD-philes in your area that have already done what you are looking to do. They (if they exist) should be able to help answer your questions.

    Here's a thread for Comcast (Adelphia) in Manchester, NH. THREAD I'm guessing that you may live near Manchester, only because that and Concord are the only cities that I know of in NH.

    ft
     
  5. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #5
    Is there one that does both? That has HD, but doesn't eat up the computers CPU?

    I may be interested in this...
     
  6. winchest macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    #6
    I have the older EyeTV 200 which I am somewhat pleased with, but not overly pleased. It does its job recording television content, but the quality is subpar. It could be the way I have hooked it up, but I have tried many different ways from my DirectTV receiver and quality never is excellent at a large screen size. If I watch it in a 5 inch window, I am good, but I wanted to watch at full screen on my 23" display.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on how one can get a beautiful picture at 23" using one of the Elgato or Migalia products? Also now with the Apple TV, maybe this is a moot point....assuming that the Apple TV can push my recorded content to my TV at full screen (37") and make it look good.

    I do realize that I have very little knowledge of TV signals. I just want to watch recorded hockey games!
     
  7. jive macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    Winchest, non-HD tv is shown on your TV at 600px wide (or something close to that). Your Apple display has loads more (1300?) pixels than you TV so it doesn't look as sharp.

    HD is roughly twice as big as non-HD so it fills more space on your screen pixel wise...



    Poorly worded etc but I am rather tired, hope this sort of helps with your problem though.
     
  8. winchest macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    #8
    Ah, yes that definitely is part of my problem. So getting an Elgato Hybrid with HD content will help solve my problem somewhat.

    Out of curiosity, if I record with my Elgato 200 (non HD content) then watch it on my LCD TV using the Apple TV, will the picture be crappy like it is on my Cinema Display or will the Apple TV be able to upscale it somehow?

    Sorry for my ignorance.
     
  9. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #9
    Well, the way these devices work, recording HD really doesn't eat up CPU cycles. Recording HD is actually very easy since the device facilitates copying the data stream "bit for bit" onto the hard drive. There's no extra compression step going on.

    However, watching the HD file is a different story. You'll need a G5 (dual-G5 preferable) or a Core Duo processor to watch 1080i at full resolution without dropping frames.

    As for analog, these devices generally convert the signal to mpeg2/4/divx and that takes some computing muscle. If the device has hardware encoding for analog (EyeTV250), then the computer's CPU is not important. If there is no hardware encoding for analog (EyeTV Hybrid), then you'll need a faster CPU to record SD.

    ft
     
  10. Dorr185 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    #10
    I just ordered an Eyetv 250. The Hybrid is an eyesore to be sure. I can just hook the Eyetv 250 up to my cable box and leave the everything else the same. I can't imagine having that UBS sticking out of my machine and attached to another cable!

    So primitive.
     
  11. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a

    manhattanboy

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
    #11
    I Second this.
    I have both a analog eye tv card and the miglia HD(which is now only $100!!!!)
    I would NOT recommend the hybrid because of the lack of QAM.
    I recieve 3 digital channels (living only 2-3 miles from the source) with the antenna (which is what the hybrid requires) but with the cable option of the miglia I get a boatload more!
     

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