converting VHS to DVD: EyeTV 250 much better than Hybrid???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mark2288, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. mark2288 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    #1
    Hi all,
    I'm converting some old VHS to DVD - I currently have an EyeTV Hybrid. The EyeTV 250 is optimized (hardware wise) to record from a VCR.

    Is the increase in quality of the 250 over the Hybrid worth the cost of the 250?
     
  2. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #2
    they can both do VHS recording, but with the hybrid it really depends on your processing power.
    With an intel C2D, or even a higher end G5, i doubt there would be much difference.
    I am doing to the same thing on my mini with an eyetv hybrid. The quality is decent, but some of the videos look kinda bad, mostly due to the physical deterioration after 20 years. You can't expect retail DVD quality unless the tapes are relatively new, they deteriorate depending on the quality of the tape and its age.
    Good luck with your project, mine has taken me forever :D
     
  3. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #3
    You can also use the older model EyeTV 200 for this, might be worth checking out eBay listings.
     
  4. craigr577 macrumors member

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    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    U.S.
    #4
    Steamboat says, "they can both do VHS recording, but with the hybrid it really depends on your processing power."

    ?? According to Elgato's comparison chart (http://elgato.com/matrix/index.php) it seems that the hybrid won't do VHS-to-digital-to-DVD for conversions of old VHS videotapes. Soon I'll probably buy an iMac, which has plenty of processing power, but (if a Hybrid won't convert analog to digital files) wouldn't the 250 be necessary?

    Craig
     
  5. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #5
    Elgato tells you that, but trust me, you can. I have done it several times. Just plug the coax out on the VCR into the coax in on the eyetv hybrid and set the software to channel 3 or 4 (whatever your VCR is set to). Play the tape and start the recording, and you're good to go :)
     
  6. craigr577 macrumors member

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    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    U.S.
    #6
    Does it show the VCR-content on the monitor, and also convert it into a digital file? If so, their "product comparison" is claiming their own product does LESS than it's able to do, which seems unusual. Craig
     
  7. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #7
    It shows you whatever is plugged into the input, so long as the tape is running, you will see it in the eyetv window. It will record as some eyetv extension, and you can choose to export it as a Quicktime, H.264, and several other file options.
    I don't think it is as straightforward as with the eyetv 250, because the VHS setup in the menu won't work for the eyetv hybrid, but it still works.
     
  8. craigr577 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    U.S.
    #8
    Thanks for the information. What you say makes sense, because the Hybrid should treat analog video signals from any source (TV antenna, VCR tape,...) in the same way.
    Agreeing with you, Elgato says "EyeTV Hybrid records analogue television using the encoder built into the EyeTV software together with your Mac’s processor" so (like you said earlier) "as a result, the quality of the analogue recording depends on the power of your Mac." So it's strange that they seem to deny this in their "product comparison" page.

    I'm a digital video novice, as you'll see in the following questions. Thanks for your patience and assistance.
    I'm wondering if either product or both, the 250 Plus (with the "plus" being digital input, which was added last week) and Hybrid, will do what I want:
    1) watch broadcast TV (analog, digital, digital HD) plus analog VCR on my Mac; (and in the future, also cable TV that is analog and/or digital);
    2) convert old VCR tapes to digital files that can be edited (using iMovie), compressed (with QuickTime), and burned onto DVDs. (or maybe instead of iMovie and QuickTime, I could use the EyeTV 2 software?)

    A useful review of the 250 (written in April 2007 before it was "250 Plus") is at http://mlmug.org/EyeTV250.html

    Craig

    -----------------

    edit on Aug 28: I'll probably get a white-iMac soon, so the questions below are no longer relevant for me, but they might be useful for other viewers.
    Currently I have two old Macs (400 MHz G4 desktop, and 400 MHz G3 PowerBook) that have Firewire and USB 1.1 but not USB 2. I know that #2 (editing,...) is impractical on these Macs, but could I do #1 (especially on the G3 PowerBook) and just watch, with EyeTV functioning only as a tuner? Elgato's "comparisons" page says the 250-Plus works with USB 1.1 (but will it just show the video input without recording it?) but the Hybrid requires USB 2.
    Sometime in the near future (maybe in days, maybe months) I'll probably buy an iMac, which will have plenty of power for #2 with Hybrid (encoding with the computer's CPU), but could the 250 (encoding using its own hardware) offer some benefits for this?
     
  9. craigr577 macrumors member

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    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    U.S.
    #9
    Posters in a thread at Apple Discussions seem to indicate that some artifacts occur due to RAM-limitations when converting analog to digital with a Hybrid, even if the CPU has enough power. Would these disappear with a 250? When you say "some of the videos look kinda bad" is this due only to the tape deterioration you describe (with Hybrid "doing the the best it can" with what's on the tapes) or do some artifacts/etc (or just a general decrease of quality) occur during the conversion to digital?

    I started a thread on Apple, trying to get information, and the RAM-thread (from May/June 2007) is the "useful thread" I cite, at
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1103665

    Craig
     
  10. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
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    Arlington VA
    #10
    Not sure, I have a CD Mac Mini with a gig of RAM. I would tend to think that you would see a slight improvement with more RAM, or more processing power; but at a certain point, I would guess that it is overkill. I attribute most of the deterioration to age, but the best way to find out would be to play it on a VCR plugged right into a TV. Unfortunately, my VCR keeps ejecting the tape, so I can't prove it one way or another. However, the poor quality (be it due to age or processing power/RAM) only occurred in the very beginning of the tape, probably the first 30 or so seconds.
    Since the eyetv 250 (and i assume by extension the 250 plus) actively encode the video, taking the strain off your processor. So if any of the bad quality was due to RAM or processing power, I would assume that would be non existent with the 250.
    But I still think it is age, and the fact that VHS never had close to DVD quality. We are so used to seeing DVDs and Hi-def content, that anything else looks bad.
     

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