Which should I buy EyeTV 200 or Plextor ConvertX?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by infinity4ever, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. infinity4ever macrumors newbie

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    San Diego, CA
    #1
    I'm a newbie to MAC. I have the ability to record TV on my PC and I want to have the same ability on my MAC. Mostly just regular TV shows that I miss when I'm away on Travel for business. I like to make DVDs to take with me to watch on my Windows Laptop. I have digital cable currently, but hope to purchase an HD TV later this year.

    Would love some advice on which would work best for me. I have a MAC Mini with the super combo drive and 1 gb ram. I have a 250 gig harddrive hooked by firewire to my Mini. I have a regular flat panel monitor (from my old PC).

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    #2
    It sounds like your single FireWire port is already taken up. I'd go with the Plextor then since it's USB 2.0. I'm looking into buying one off of someone on campus. I'm going to test it out first.
     
  3. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    Bay Area, CA
    #3
    I have two of them, and they're great. I can't imagine why I'd want to give up a Firewire port since even USB 2.0 is overkill for standard-definition TV signals. My only regret is that there is no remote control (despite the claims of the website where I bought the units).

    The great thing about the Plextor ConvertX TV-402 model is that it works with both Macs and PCs (though buying the EyeTV software is a little expensive).
     
  4. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 10, 2004
    #4
    Yeah, it really depends on what you got. If you don't have use for USB, then get the Plextor. If you don't need firewire, get the elgato. Now, I don't use much firewire, so I got the eyetv 200. it does come with a remote and it also is powered via firewire, so you do not need an external AC adapter like Plextor utilizes. Which is important if you don't have any more outlets nearby as well.
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #5
    The only FireWire port on the Mini is taken up by the 250 GB hard drive. That's the only reason I suggested the Plextor.
     
  6. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 10, 2004
    #6
    then that makes it a really easy decision I believe! But the mini also only has two USB ports. Kind of stinks IMO. But if that's what you gotta do, i think the elgato is probably a better product anyway. Not sure how, but I'm sure it is ;-)
     
  7. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 10, 2004
    #7
    Now one thing you won't be able to do is change the channel on your cable box via eyetv. so you can't timeshift i think it's called. you'd have to physically be at that channel instead of eyetv automatically switching channels.

    but its still the way to go, as eyetv 500 only supports HD tuning and doesn't support cable anyway whatsoever
     
  8. infinity4ever thread starter macrumors newbie

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    San Diego, CA
    #8
    Thanks for your suggestions. It looks like my external harddrive a Lacie 250gb that stacks under the mac mini has 2 firewire ports. One I used to hook to the mac mini. Does this sound correct? Would I be able to connect the Eyetv to the external hard drive and get it to work?
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #9
    Ah, I was hoping you had a firewre hub on that drive for the Mini. I'm just worried about using all of that bandwidth to record video and write to the drive.

    In my opinion FireWire should be enough. What does someone else think?
     
  10. infinity4ever thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    It looks like there is only 1 firewire on the Mini Mac and 2 on the harddrive. I used the one on the Mini Mac and 1 on the hardrive to hook them together. So, can I use the other one on the hardrive to hook the eyetv to?
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #11
    Your hard drive is a FireWire hub. I'm just worried that recording from the EyeTV and writing to the hard drive on the same FireWire channel might use up to much of the bandwidth. It's 2000 - 12000 kb/s of video and you need to write that to the hard drive just as fast.
     
  12. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

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    #12
    yeah i don't know how that would work. might not be able to do that. plextor seems like a safe bet though.
     
  13. Arnaud macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2005
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    The Moon
    #13
    Hi,

    First of all, it's indeed the EyeTV500 (or 610) you need, NOT the EyeTV200, the last one being set with a tuner for analog TV (i.e., "old" cable). If you get the EyeTV 200, you need to plug the cable decoder output on the composite input of the EyeTV, and the EyeTV cannot control the channels, which clearly sucks.
    But the EyeTV500 (or 610, for paytv) should do it, with channel control, essential for TV recording.

    Second, the Firewire extension of the hard drive should be fine, that's what it's for. Otherwise, an external Firewire hub would do too, but it seems useless in this case.

    I've got an EyeTV 200 myself, for recording the analog cable, connected on my iMac (G5, 1.8GHz) via a FW hub. It works all fine, even though my main HD is also connected via the FW hub, which makes for a lot of traffic. (I decided to boycott the internal HD, it makes the iMac too noisy with the vibrations, I use it only for backups or video). Anyway, the EyeTV 200 compresses the video in the box, it's only a "reduced" bandwidth which goes through, and this can be set via the software (you can reduce the quality if needed). Maybe something similar is doable from the digital signal of the cable ?

    But honestly, it shouldn't be no problem at all, the EyeTV box does not even depend on the performances of the computer by itself (but for viewing the results).

    Last point: don't plug an AC adapter in... I forgot that when I moved my desktop in another room, and plugged some other AC adapter. Result: I toasted the box, fshuu, smoke and smell of melted plastic :( I got a new one since, though.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    Ah, digital and HD. I'm still not a buyer of either so analog it is for me.
     
  15. Arnaud macrumors 6502

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    #15
    MMM, funny, I used "HD" for my "hard-drive" in the last post, that might be confusing... I guess I'm outdated ! :rolleyes:
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #16
    It does get confusing. <.<

    I still think HD is hard drive.
     
  17. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #17
    Technically, hard drive has always been HDD, but most people dropped the extra "d" (hard disk drive)...but now there's the HD (high definition) clash. Ambiguity is inescapable :).

    There's no reason the EyeTV is "better" than the Plextor. Neither Elgato nor Plextor makes the TV chipset inside, so it's really a matter of preference. If you have other bus-powered Firewire devices, be wary of connecting them all at once (you'd don't want the bus to max out on power and have the Elgato switch off). It doesn't sound like you'll have that problem though.

    What it really comes down to is remote vs. no remote and Mac AND PC compatability vs. Mac-only. The Plextor is the only external TV tuner that is known to work with MythTV, if you end up going that route (I did).
     
  18. kugino macrumors 65816

    kugino

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    #18
    will the fw ports on the intel imacs have enough juice to power the eyetv 200? it probably will, but i remember reading on barefeats:

    anyone with an intel imac using the eyetv 200?
     
  19. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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  20. kugino macrumors 65816

    kugino

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    #20

    thanks for the link. as it's a software issue, the plextor pvr probably doesn't work, either...i can wait a few more weeks...
     
  21. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #21
    Yeah, the Plextor uses EyeTV software, so it's affected as well.
     
  22. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #22
    Well I just got done talking to an eyeTV 200 owner. He also has several FireWire hard drives attached to an eMac. The only issue he's encountered is that there are some powering issues due to so many devices even directly plugged into his Mac.

    He suggested getting a power hub.
     
  23. Arnaud macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2005
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    The Moon
    #23
    My EyeTV 200 is also plugged on a FW hub with additional supply. There is also one iSight, and 1 hard drive of 250, to which another hard drive of 300 is chained. Both HDDs have external power supply. It's all connected to an iMac, running smooth.
     
  24. buckeye2008 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #24
    Just wanted to mention that EyeTV 1.8.4 is running perfectly under Rosetta on my 2.0 GHz core duo with 1GB ram/256 MB vram. (I'm watching the daily show as I'm typing this.) This is with the old EyeTV USB unit. Hoping to upgrade sometime soon to either the Plextor or EyeTV 200 myself.
     
  25. vgoklani macrumors regular

    vgoklani

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    #25
    well, I personally would go with the eyetv200; they make mac only stuff, so you are less likely to have problems with drivers. I have an eyetv200, and it runs so well, everything works perfectly. my macbook pro will be here by the end of the month, and that is when the intel drivers are supposed to be released by el gato, so we'll see how things work. I would avoid Plextor for everything but their CD drives. Their DVD stuff isn't up to snuff, and most of their other stuff is junk. I purchaed a 716UF external DVD burner, and it has severe issues when running on a mac (there are tons of people with similar problems - google it)...Lacie seems the way to go! The hardware in the eyetv200 is also first rate, you may spend a little more, but the quality difference will be well worth it. btw, go firewire all the way!
    PS: you can use the eyetv200 as a firewire hub, just get an external AC adapter and attach it to supply more voltage to your hard drives! I have an eyetv200, 2 250G external hard drives, and an m-audio firewire audiophile all daisy-chained together...works nicely!
     

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