Any options besides EyeTV for TV -> AppleTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mrgreen4242, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #1
    Just doing some research on options for recording TV (OTA or QAM) and transferring them to the AppleTV (in an automated process). EyeTV has this option, just seeing who/whatelse will do it.
     
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #2
    EyeTV is the best option for doing this. I have yet to find anything that is as good as EyeTV, software wise.
     
  3. kalex macrumors 65816

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    Oct 1, 2007
  4. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #4
    Some other questions for you two, then, since Elgatos site is pretty but terribly informative.

    1) Can you use multiple tuners with EyeTV (to record multiple stations at the same time)?
    2) What tuners, aside from Elgatos, are compatible?
    3) Other than sitting at a computer, is there any way to schedule recordings (from the ATV, from an iPod touch/iPhone, via SMS/email, etc)?
    4) Any sort of estimate about the encoding time when going from OTA HD to AppleTV HD? What about OTA HA -> AppleTV SD, or OTA SD to Apple TV SD? (I have a 2.4ghz C2D iMac, but estiamtes based on any system would likely give me some sort of idea).
    5) How reliable is it? Does it crash or require restarts?
    6) Is there a keyword serach feature (record any program with XXX in the description, etc)?
    7) Where does the programming guide come from? Is it free? Is it accurate?

    I think that's all my questions, for now. :p Thanks for the help!!
     
  5. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #5
    1. There is TV tuners Elgato offer that have twin tuners built in. It might be possible to run two separate USB tuners, but I can't say for sure.

    2. Quite a selection, I own a Terratec Cinegry XS TV tuner, but that actually came with the EyeTV software. If a TV tuner doesn't come with EyeTV, I'd assume it isn't compatible.

    3. I don't think so, however I don't think it will be long before someone makes an app for the iPhone that will enable you to remote schedule. I hope so anyway.

    4. We don't get HD over-the-air (ex. Free-Sat) in the UK, so I've never recorded an HD TV Show. However, normal SD stuff, if using the default Apple TV preset will take about an 50 minutes for a 30 minute show. It varies, but I've never timed it accurately, that is just an estimate. However, being able to set EyeTV to automatically export is quite useful.

    5. Reliable? Well, it is getting there. There is bugs still being ironed out but recently since the latest EyeTV 3 update, I've not had many crashes, and when I leave it to record during the night, it has yet to let me down.

    6. There is smart guides (I'm not too familiar with them) that will record things that are relevant. I've not used it, so can't say exactly how good it is, but it is the kind of idea that meets your question.

    7. There is TvTv information (which you get a year's free service), however my year expired, so I'm using what every other digital box and television uses - DVB. It is very accurate, and goes a week in advance and more, but it depends on where you live. Different countries will have different DVB techniques.
     
  6. '73-B macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    #6
    I dropped cable last December and went with the EyeTV 250+ for OTA HD reception and recording. So far it's been excellent. Great video quality when recording HD content, fairly easy to use, easy to set up and record shows. The hardware software cost ~$190. I bought an antenna and mounted it in the attic with an amplifier ~$100. Coax cable and proper crimping tools ~$45. So, I spent about $335 on everything and have saved about $675 on cable thus far. A definite no brainer, and if there is a sporting event on that I can't get OTA, I just go to a bar and watch, still cheaper than paying Verizon or Comcast.

    To answer your questions:

    3) Other than sitting at a computer, is there any way to schedule recordings (from the ATV, from an iPod touch/iPhone, via SMS/email, etc)?

    Once you establish your free TitanTV account you can select shows to be recorded from that website. You then set EyeTV to check your TitanTV account periodically to get updates to the list of shows to be recorded. This works great for me and I've been able to program a show to be recorded from my iPhone.


    5) How reliable is it? Does it crash or require restarts?

    I use my EyeTV 250 plus with a 1.8 C2D Mac Mini as a media center. I've never had to restart or cycle the power for the hardware or software.


    6) Is there a keyword serach feature (record any program with XXX in the description, etc)?

    There is exactly such a feature. You can tell it to record based on keywords in the title, based on channel, etc. A lot like making a DB query.


    7) Where does the programming guide come from? Is it free? Is it accurate?

    See above, the programming guide comes from TitanTV. I use it for OTA HD reception and it's always been completely accurate.
     
  7. page3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Vicar of Dibley-land, UK
    #7
    I however find the software merely 'OK'. Poor interface, limited functionality and an unwillingness of Elgato even to respond to suggestions. :(

    It is however, the best we've got...
     
  8. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #8
    I can say for sure. I'm using both an ElGato HD Home run device (2 tuners) and an EyeTV Hybrid (1 tuner). All three tuners work concurrently with 3.0. Multiple tuners support was included as a "beta" in 2.x.
     
  9. kolax macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #9
    '73-B...out of interest, is TitanTV actually free, or is it like TVTV and is a subscription with your first year free?

    TitanTV is just the American equivalent of Europe's TVTV, and remote scheduling is possible with TVTV, but it is a pay-per-year service.
     
  10. Ol!ver macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2005
    #10
    Does Elgato wake the machine up to record? I assume it does but thought I'd check.
     
  11. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

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    May 15, 2007
    #11
    I don't know of a better combo. There is a lot of info out there. Check the awkwardtv website
     
  12. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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  13. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    AR
    #13
    Free. It's ad supported.
     
  14. kolax macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #14
    Ah, that just isn't fair!

    It's £15 ($30) a year for us Brit's to get the same service.
     
  15. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #15
    Well, here in NZ we're still waiting for Elgato to provide any EPG service whatsoever. With a "real" satellite/terrestrial box you can view the EPG on your TV (ie. it comes from the satellite/tower) but EyeTV doesn't seem to know how to display this information, and several different posts in the EyeTV Feature Requests forum have gone unanswered :(
     
  16. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #16
    Jaw04005 - how good is the remote scheduling with TitanTV? I assume 'tvtv' will do a similar job. Is this accessible from the iPhone, and how well is the content displayed?

    Canada only just got compatibility for the EPG via DVB. As much as I like EyeTV, they really aren't fully dedicated in this area.
     
  17. knux11 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    #17
    if you don't/can't get titantv, you're not missing much.

    Setting up a series recording is impossible, simply because titantv can't tell which episodes are new and which are repeats. Some episodes are marked as "new" or "repeat", but most aren't and which ones are which seems completely arbitrary; even if they are marked, they're often incorrect, esp. with repeats being marked as new. You can set it up if you want EVERY airing of a tv series, or if you set it up by the time it comes on, but that would make it just as good as an old vcr. I had to install windows xp for this reason alone.

    The only way I can see anyone using eyetv is if they don't record anything (meaning live tv only), or if they've never used beyondtv. I've used a few different dvr programs, and beyondtv is leaps and bounds above all. I'm stuck with xp for my media center pc until beyondtv is made for osx.

    BTW setting up a recording is EXACTLY like creating a smart playlist in itunes.
     
  18. eddyg macrumors 6502

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    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #18
    Using HandBrake and EyeTV

    Hi,

    Personally I use an EyeTV Applescript to export the MPEG Transport Stream from EyeTV into an m4v, then I tag the file using AtomicParsely (from within MetaX) and send it into iTunes where it automagically appears on my AppleTVs.

    I use HandBrake because it is faster and more customisable for exporting, e.g. I export with different settings for different shows which I know are not HD.

    See the following link for how I did it, note that I use the HandBrake SVN version so that I can have H.264 support within MPEG-TS.

    How to use HandBrake to encode for iTunes/AppleTV

    Cheers, Ed.
     
  19. eddyg macrumors 6502

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    Sep 5, 2003
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    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #19
    Just set up iCal to download and install the xmltv ones, I do this once per day and it works fine.

    Cheers, Ed.
     
  20. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #20
    Interesting, and I'm definitely going to take a look at what you have done. But I've got a question first - when I export using MPEG Program Stream (define Transport Stream??) I get the original video, however it doesn't take into account overscan.

    I could crop it in HandBrake, but I don't know what EyeTV crops and how much when you enable overscan.

    Also, how do you keep the audio and video in sync? I've had issues when using HandBrake and MPEG Streams.
     
  21. eddyg macrumors 6502

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    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #21
    I don't export it at all, HandBrake processes the original .mpg in the .eyetv package as stored by EyeTV in its repository. I don't recommend exporting it since it will probably stuff up your timecodes, and is unnecessary anyway.

    You can modify the script to run the advert remover if you like, I can't use it since it doesn't work with H.264 streams.

    HandBrake will automatically crop the picture - so just leave HandBrake to do it all.

    The SVN version of HandBrake is a lot better at handling MPEG Streams, and that is the one I use. It isn't released software so I wouldn't recommend it for general use as yet, but if you are into tinkering, or just want to try out what is coming up give it a go.

    It is possible that there are still syncing issues, but there's a very clever guy working on those, and he fixes them as soon as they occur.

    Cheers, Ed.
     
  22. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #22
    I've found HandBrake will give me an error saying "No Valid Source Found" on some recordings. When I export it as an MPEG Program Stream (uncompressed just giving it as it is) HandBrake reads this fine.

    As for HandBrake cropping the picture - it still doesn't crop it fully though. I've spent the past 10 minutes resizing the EyeTV window to the exact size of the HandBrake picture settings window to crop it all exactly as it is on EyeTV. I found EyeTV crops roughly 14x14x14x14. However, I can't get HandBrake to make the size 704x386 (source is 720x576), closest I can get is 672x384, while the "keep aspect ratio" box is ticked.

    I'm still learning all this, and I'm satisfied with cropping 14x14x14x14 (although I'm going to try fine tune it to see what the exact croppings are EyeTV uses).

    Cheers,
     
  23. eddyg macrumors 6502

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    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #23
    Newer versions should be better at that.

    Cropping can be a pain - I don't worry about overscan - don't get anything there that I don't want to see :)

    Try turning off keep aspect ratio also make sure that anamorphic isn't enabled. You should be able to simply tell HB exactly what crop settings you want and it will do it.

    Cheers, Ed.
     
  24. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #24
    I am using the latest verison of SVN HandBrake - but I think the issue is with broken segments in the MPEG2 file that cause HandBrake to panic. If I Show Package Contents on the .eyetv file and drag the .mpg file into HandBrake, same error. If I use MPEG Streamclip software to repair any data gaps, HandBrake accepts the file. Same goes for when I export from EyeTV using MPEG Program Stream - I think EyeTV too repairs any data gaps. This only happens if there is a bump in the signal, like a stutter or something.

    It might be different in New Zeland with overscan - in fact it varies with channels here in the UK! The BBC, without overscan has black lines across the top and halfway along it cuts down a few pixels into the picture. And the sides have blackbars too, by a few pixels. Other channels, even with overscan off, the picture is perfect.

    I can't tell HandBrake exact values, I can increase and decrease, but I can't type in the exact value. However, it appears 704x384 is a common resolution. I'm sure my original EyeTV exports were 704x386. This confuses the heck out of me all this!

    I'm really interesting in pursuing this, because I get such bad exports using QuickTime from EyeTV.
     
  25. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #25
    Oooh, I like that. Nice work with the scripting (assuming that was your doing)! I'll have to look into that more closely, but it seems like a really good way to do things (the x264 encoder in HandBrake is much better than QT, and in the states HDTV broadcasts are MPEG2, so should be even simpler for me).

    Anyway to do this without EyeTV? I mean, since this script is doing the "heavy lifting" of encoding, importing, tagging, etc etc, all EyeTV is doing is turning on the recorder at a specified time...
     

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