Cable TV on new 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AdiosVista, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #1
    I'm looking for the best solution to watch Cable TV on my iMac. I searched the forums many times looking for answers and the general consensus was to buy the Elgato EyeTV Hybrid. That's exactly what I did and was extremely disappointed with the quality. In the Elgato preferences, the highest live quality setting available is 720x480, which obviously looks awful when viewing fullscreen.

    To summarize, I'm looking for a piece of equipment that will allow me to: 1) need to be able to watch live Cable TV and 2) play my Wii on the new 27" iMac. The Hybrid does both but the quality is terrible. Any recommendations would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Stoutman11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    #2
    I dont have the product but i am interested in it. I just watched some youtube vids last night on the product and the image quality looked great using the HD model you mentioned. Hopefully someone will clear this up for you. Maybe something your missing??
     
  3. Acidglaze macrumors member

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    Dec 12, 2008
    #3
    Unfortunately, you will not be able to increase the resolution for cable television. Unless you are streaming in an HD channel (of which the only unencrypted HD channels should be your basic boradcast cahnnels), both cable and the wii are limited to 480p (or 480i) resolution. When displayed full screen on a 27" iMac running at highest resolution, it will look bad.

    Try lowering the resolution on your screen when viewing TV or the wii and see if it gets better. Also, Elgato sells a different box from the hybrid (the 250 Plus if memory is correct). The difference with this one is that it performs hardware decoding as opposed to the hybrid's software decoding, which a lot of people have said performs better.
     
  4. Stoutman11 macrumors member

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    Aug 17, 2010
    #4
    to the topic creator... i missread your orginal post, you have the hybrid. I think if you got the eyetv HD model you would better quality assuming you have HD cable (digital).
     
  5. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #5
    Thank you both for the replies, these are very helpful answers and give me some options to weigh. Much appreciated!
     
  6. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    NC, USA
    #6
    I have the Elgato Hybrid and just bought the HD model. NO comparison. The Hybrid is TERRIBLE in a side to side comparison. Grab the HD, you will love it.
     
  7. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    #7
    Which version of the Hybrid are you guys using? (Though it shouldn't matter, I think even the 2007 model did full HD)

    The biggest difference between the HD and Hybrid (iirc) is the HD does the video decoding itself, while the Hybrid relies on your CPU, so doing full HD requires a decent CPU (my 2.2 C2D mini isn't quite good enough to do progressive scan deinterlacing for a 1080i broadcast, so I have to use drop field instead, which has a degradation in quality, but it's still pretty good).
     
  8. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2003
    #8
    So in looking at my preferences at first I saw nothing about "720x480", until I remembered to look under Analog settings for the input. Yes, for analog, the highest you can go is 480p, which since that's all the Wii outputs you won't get any better. For TV, assuming you have digital TV, you can do full HD (in fact you can't even change this setting, it simply passes the stream through). If you have analog TV, 480i is that best you can do (which isn't the Hybrid's fault, analog TV is Standard def).
     
  9. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #9
    Yes, I am using analog for standard def TV and agree that is a big part of the problem. What confuses me, however, is that even standard def television doesn't look this bad on a larger size TV.

    So knowing that I'm on analog, even if I switched from the Hybrid to the HD model, I would see no gains, correct? What about the Wii quality? Would that improve by going with the HD model? If the Wii only puts out 480i, how does it look ok on large screens? I've played the Wii on a 50" plasma TV and it looked fine but when playing on my 27" iMac, it's horrible.
     
  10. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2003
    #10
    What are you using to input the signal? (S-Video, RCA, coax?)
     
  11. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #11
    The Wii is connected using the red, yellow, and white wires plugged into the Elgato adapter that sticks into what looks like a mini-USB port on the side of the Hybrid.
     
  12. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #12
    Also, one other related question: I'm not so concerned with the crappy quality of TV through the Hybrid. It was it is and I can live with that. The part that really drives me nuts is not being able to play the Wii at any decent quality. What if I completely bypass the Hybrid and connect my Wii directly to the mini displayport on the back of my iMac? Is there an adapter that can do this? If so, a link would be greatly appreciated!
     
  13. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    #13
    I've never tried to connect an analog source to my Hybrid, so it could very well have a weak A/D converter.

    I doubt that there is a direct Wii->MDP adaptor. You'd likely have to do a chain of Wii->(Component Video or HDMI or DVI)->MDP. Your best bet might be some sort of upscaler to sit between the Wii and MDP.

    Oh, and the EyeTV HD will not work for the Wii, since the box does the video conversion itself, it introduces a delay in the signal channel, making it unusable in for video games.
     
  14. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #14
    Thank you for the helpful reply. I'm very curious about getting the Wii hooked up directly to the mini displayport now as they may be the best way for me to at least get decent quality out of playing games. I understand it will likely have to be some sort of chain, like mini displayport > dvi > component, or something like that, correct? I'd love to hear from anyone who's achieved this. Thanks!
     

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