Elgato EyeTV 250-Plus replacement? now have a DTA box

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ratsg, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. ratsg macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2010
    I currently have an Elgato EyeTV 250-Plus attached to a Mac Mini that I have been using as a DVR with great results for several years.

    My cable company, TWC (Time Warner Cable) is now moving to a digital signal and they are providing customers in my area with a

    Motorola DTA
    model number - HD-DTA100u/4301/000
    part number - u62x006.00

    The Motorola DTA provides output either as coax or HDMI. The cable company is suggesting the usage of the HDMI for highest quality.

    - - - - -

    Now to get to the meat of my question, I'm looking for a replacement for my Elgato EyeTV 250-Plus. That is the short of things.

    I have looked on the Elgato web site a few times looking for a replacement. And I see the EyeTV HD. This looks like it might be somewhat of a replacement, but not an optimal one. I wish the EyeTV HD had an HDMI input, but it doesn't. According to the elgato.com support site, it has composite, component and s-video.

    I'm wondering how others are doing with the EyeTV HD? Did you end up doing OK? Or did you find a better alternative to the EyeTV HD with more options?

    thank you,
  2. ColdCase, Mar 27, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Your Eye TV has a coax/rf input? It may continue to work. But I suppose TW will also be encrypting the signal. You could just connect the EyeTV to the new box. The rub is you won't be able to switch channels without more work (IR blaster for example)

    I dunno but there may be copy protection or DRM on the HDMI port (called HDCP), especially if you have an HD service or more than the basic channels. You may want to check this out before investing in an HDMI DVR type device. You may have to connect a TV directly with nothing in the middle or use work arounds.

    Not many inexpensive DVRs will provide the necessary HDMI handshaking like a TV or compliant monitor would (the industry doesn't want you to record and redistribute HD content). There are several devices that will convert HDMI, but its the additional HDCP handshaking that will put up a roadblock. And TW often sets the copy flag such that a compliant DVR will not record anyway. There are work arounds.

    I don't know if it applies with your basic service. When Comcast went encrypted digital in our area, the box they gave us just had coax out.

    You will need to figure out how to switch cable box channels from your DVR software, unless you just record one channel at a time.
  3. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 23, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    The issue isn't that they are going digital... the 250 can read unencrypted digital cable. They are encrypting everything now and are switching to switched digital video to provide better picture quality and more internet bandwidth.

    In essence, instead of sending every channel at once, the cable box has to request whatever channel you want to see from the cable head office and only that channel is sent to you to save bandwidth. So to make this work you need two things: a cable card tuner and a tuning adapter.

    However, since OS X doesn't support cablecard natively (there are a lot of specific DRM variants that have to be supported), there's no way to do this in OS X. Works great in Windows using the HDHomeRun Prime (a 3 tuner networked CableCard box) and a tuning adapter (from the cable company).
  4. ratsg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2010

    replying to ColdCase, yes, my eyetv has a coax input and I can plug the output from the DTA box, into the input for the EyeTV.

    It works, poorly. I had only anticipated that the drawback was I would only be able to change channels thru the DTA box, which is still current.

    running the signal thru the EyeTV makes the picture on the TV slow/sluggish and attenuated.

    I know that EyeTV no longer sells USB tuners in the US market. I *wish* that the EyeTV people, or someone, made a Mac compatible combination DTA/DVR box for the US market.

    All that said, I would like to think that there was some type of Apple focused DVR appliance/application out there for me and everyone else.

    Thanks for looking (maybe again).


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3 March 26, 2015