Alternative to EyeTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Supp0rtLinux, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Supp0rtLinux macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #1
    A few years back I had an EyeTV Hybrid. I haven't used it for years, but am in a position where I'd like to once again. Unfortunately, I no longer have the original stick. I attempted to shop around for a new one and everything on the Elgato site says "not available in your country". Some more digging shows that the current EyeTV products are Europe/Asia only and aren't sold in the US. I'm curious about two things: 1) does anyone know why? these used to be available in the Apple store. What changed? Is the introduction of all the cable channel apps that require a username/password from your cable company? If so, this is a pain... I sort of like being able to use my laptop instead of a TV at least for basic cable and/or OTA satellite. 2) are there any affordable alternatives? I'm currently on a contract and in a very cramped space. There is no room where I'm at for a TV unless I mount it on a wall and there's no wallspace that's in the right location. But I do have internet access and basic cable (the free basic you automatically get if you have signal for internet). I'd really like to be able to go from the cable to something like an EyeTV to USB or thunderbolt and watch regular, basic cable on my Macbook Pro. Any non-kludgy work-arounds? In short... I need a solution to watch Better Call Saul w/o having to wait for it to appear on the TPB the next day. :p (ok, just kidding... I don't condone piracy). Worth noting: I have a current gen 13' MBP with an i7 and Yosemite.
     
  2. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #2
    I believe El Gato used the Hauppauge Hybrid TV Stick which is compatible with the EyeTV software.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr950q.html

    You may want to check the EyeTV release notes to confirm.

    Likely only able to receive over-the-air broadcast channels or non-encrypted QAM cable channels.

    Most cable systems now lock down the QAM channels, requiring cable-card authentication.
     
  3. Supp0rtLinux thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Gotcha... the timing lines up with the rollout of cable card so that would make sense. The thing is... at least with the hell know as Time Warner Cable... if you pay for just internet, you automatically get the lower 100 channels as long as you have a cable-ready TV... no box needed. For me, that's enough to get AMC and Discovery. :) I was just hoping to use a TV tuner stick on my laptop to accomplish it instead of having to use a TV I have no room for.
     
  4. alm99 macrumors 6502

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    #4


    You sure about that? They started locking that down several years ago and require a cable package, at least in my area.
     
  5. dapetrun macrumors regular

    dapetrun

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    #5
    Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime for cable...

    You could try one of the products from Silicon Dust called HDHomeRun Prime. About the size of your fist but flat, it connects to your cable via co-ax with a cable card and also your modem/router via ethernet then buy Elgato's EyeTV software so TV channels are available to any computer(s) on your WiFi wirelessly from anywhere in your home or apartment. Your computer becomes essentially a DVR and can record shows with TV Guide programming. They also have a unit that works off OTA aerial antenna called HDHomeRun Extend or Connect that does the same thing only without the cable.
     
  6. alm99 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    The HDHomeRun Prime will not work with EyeTV. Elgato does not support the cable card. I wish they did, but they don't and so far they have not made plans to ever support it.

    What you need is the Connect. Here.

    I have the older version, the white model, and have been using it for approximately 8 years. Here.
     
  7. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

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    #7
    I saw this post on the silicon dust forums, I was hopeful that an unofficial change occurred with eye tv support, but no one else has posted that they have a prime working.


    Hopefully this means some actual support is being planned for the future. Of course, it could just be a side project that will never get official support.

    https://www.silicondust.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17621

    Postby Nato1978 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:43 pm

    Just wanted to report that after setting up an HDHomeRun PRIME with a Comcast CableCARD, activating the card through my cable company, and then successfully installing MythTV, I tried configuring my EyeTV 3 software (latest version running on Yosemite 10.10.1) to also use the PRIME, just for yuks.

    To my great surprise, it worked. Supported or not, EyeTV thinks the PRIME is a DUAL, recognizes two of the unit's three tuners, can pull in all the non-DRM channels (just like MythTV), and can record two shows simultaneously.

    I haven't had a chance to see whether the recordings play back jittery or not, but considering that I was already having playback issues with some channels when using EyeTV's software _and_ elGato's own hardware, that may owe more to EyeTV, the way I've configured ETVcomskip, or my local cable system than to the PRIME.

    I'm keeping the eminently impressive MythTV around in case Comcast or EyeTV pull any future shenanigans that render it obsolete again. But for now, if I can stick with EyeTV's more Mac-like interface, slightly easier program search/recording features, and ability to start up and shut down the Mac automatically for recordings, I will.

    UPDATE: After using the HDHomeRun PRIME for a few weeks, I'm happy to report that the recordings play back just fine. No jitters, no problem. I will say that I can't seem to start playing back a recording as it's being recorded, but that's a minor quibble.
     
  8. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Are you able to view or record the encrypted channels with the EyeTV software?
     
  9. dapetrun, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015

    dapetrun macrumors regular

    dapetrun

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    #9
    Yes, alm99, you are mostly correct. The HDHomeRun Prime (cable oriented product) is or was not meant to work with EyeTV but I remember reading about others who have claimed to have few problems getting it to work.

    I can verify the HDHomeRun Extend (in HD for aerial TV reception) and the HDHomeRun Connect (in SD for aerial TV reception) both work extremely well with the EyeTV software. If fact I have the newest HDHomeRun Extend working for just the past 2 weeks and am very pleased with the internal H.264 transcoding of this unit. Previously programs that were 5 to 6 GB in size now record with 1-1.5 GB total and further exporting into iTunes for playback on an AppleTV takes only a minute or two to complete the audio portion into H.264. The audio compression chews away another 300--500 MB of data. Now an hour long TV show usually ends up less than 1 GB (without commercials) and encodes into iTunes in less than a minute. Quite an improvement over the HDHomeRun Connect and a worthy upgrade for $100. The software transcoding the Connect unit required :35 minutes or so on a powerful iMac and was not as tightly compressed as the hardware transcoded shows on the Extend.
     
  10. alm99 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #10
    The extend has onboard encoding? My 2009 mac mini could really use some assistance in encoding. When it starts encoding during a show and if I happend to be watching TV at the same time, it makes the live TV extremely choppy and forces me to end the encode.
     
  11. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Yes the extend has a hardware encoder
     
  12. cjbaar macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2014
    #12
    Hauppage WinTV Stick

    The WinTV HVR950Q sticks work well with EyeTV, but only the older generations. I have one that I have used alongside the original EyeTV Hybrid for five years. Recently, the Hybrid stopped tuning, so I purchased a new 950Q online... but it didn't work. The Elgato support site confirms that their software does not work with the newer revisions.

    I ended up returning the new 950Q and getting another one on eBay, after confirming with the seller that it had an older revision. Both of my WinTV sticks are labeled "72001 LF Rev. B3F0". I don't know at what rev they stop working with EyeTV. Still no idea why Elgato stopped selling hardware in the US.
     
  13. macunix macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2015
    #13


    Have you tried to connect multiple extends to your house? I'm thinking it would be nice to be able to get 4 shows recorded at the same time using a digital antenna.
     
  14. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #14
    I haven't. I am waiting until sillicondust gets the license to decode Dolby so the stream can be moved to iTunes without eyetv having to encode the audio. This should also let us use full 1080 decoded streams.

    As for multiple units, people already do that.
     
  15. name99 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 21, 2004
    #15
    OTA HD HomeRun definitely works fine with EyeTV

    I can't talk about using SiliconDust products with EyeTV, but the HD HomeRun CONNECT 2-Tuner definitely works well with EyeTV. However setup is not obvious, especially if you have used an earlier EyeTV product.

    My Amazon review of the HD HomeRun CONNECT describes in detail how to get it to work with EyeTV.
    http://www.amazon.com/review/RS6O08BLD8B66/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

    My guess (but it's only a guess) is that something similar would get it to work with cable.
     
  16. macunix macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2015
    #16

    Thanks for the review. It is helpful. Do you have 1 or more HD HomeRun's? I ask because I was hoping to buy two of those and use EyeTV to record up to 4 shows at once. Or record 3, and be able to watch one live feed.

    From what I understand, the homerun converts the video on the fly, right? So it won't take much CPU power on my Mac, I have an i7 Mac mini with 16 GB ram.
     
  17. dawgfang macrumors member

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    Atlanta
    #17
    I'd like to get HD streamed to my iPad. Do I need to more expensive version on Amazon?
     
  18. Che Castro, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015

    Che Castro macrumors 603

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    #18
    I have a cable box but is in another room not where my Mac is
    So this eyetv HD would not work for me since you connect the eyetv to the cable box and to the Mac

    Is there another alternative ?

    I can run a 75ft usb cable from one room to the next but would that even work or degrade the signal ?
     
  19. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #19
    A 75 foot USB connection won't work without additional equipment to repeat the signal.
     
  20. Che Castro macrumors 603

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    #20
    What additional equipment ?
     
  21. macunix macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2015
    #21

    I suggest that you run an ethernet cable to where your cable box is.

    Is yours a typical setup? Meaning that you plug your modem into a router. Then on the back of the router you have a handful of ports.

    If that's the case, then I'd suggest you connect your EyeTV to the back of router, and then run ethernet to the same location and plug your Mac into the router as well. That will hardwire both on the same network.
     
  22. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Can you explain this further. Is the homerun extend transcoding full 1080 to ITunes compatible format?
     
  23. Che Castro macrumors 603

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    May 21, 2009
    #23
    I don't understand what does ethernet have to do with usb ?

    Are you saying I can use ethernet instead of usb ?

    I do have a router and I have an Ethernet cable running from the router next to computer to the living room where the cable box is
     
  24. macunix macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2015
    #24
    I'm not aware of it needing USB. What model eye tv do you have? Can you post a link?
     
  25. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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