Elgato EyeTV HD Quality? Screen captures included

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Cottonsworth, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Cottonsworth macrumors regular

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    May 11, 2008
    #1
    I just hooked up my EyeTV HD today. I feel like I must have a defective unit or I am doing something wrong as the quality is not sharp as I am experiencing some a bit of double imaging. Please take a look at the screen shots, especially the one showing the menu with text. If you look at the text closely, you can see that there is a bit of double imaging going on.

    I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong or if this is the best quality it can get. Verizon Fios is my cable provider and I have it connected to my 2.4ghz C2D iMac and I'm using component cables. I tried to troubleshoot by using different component cables and a different source (my Sony Blu-Ray Player). Same problem. It shows it is inputing 720p60.

    Can anyone chime in? Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Cottonsworth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #2
    Update: I exchanged my EyeTV HD for another unit and experienced the same problem. I talked to Elgato tech support, the assured me that the quality isn't suppose to be like that but they are stumped too. They told me to send them my system profile information and they would pass it although to a higher tier tech support.

    At this point I baffled. I tried two different EyeTV HD, two different component cables, two different usb cables, and two different video sources and they all have the same problem. To top it off, I tried it on two different computers.

    As a side note, I did try the connection using composite cables and the double imaging seems to be gone but the picture is way too blurry to be acceptable.

    Can anyone think of anything else? Anyone else have an EyeTV HD that can chime in? Thanks.
     
  3. NEUengineer macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #3
    What kind of tuner did you get? I have the HD hybrid. The hd quality is great. Im worried about the cables you are talked about. Why are you using component cables? Does your tuner have a cable input? Mine has both, but the cable input I'd the only one that can handle HD.
     
  4. pjarvi macrumors 65816

    pjarvi

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    #4
    You may need to check the output settings of your Verizon receiver. There are probably different color settings for the component output like "YCbCr vs YPbPr".
     
  5. Cottonsworth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    The EyeTV HD doesn't have a cable input. The only choices are component for HD and composite/S-Video for SD.
     
  6. NEUengineer macrumors member

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    #6
    1 are you sure you are viewing an HD channel to begin with? SD channels will not look that good, even through the HD input. Not all channels you get will be HD.
    2 i have noticed myself that sometimes the menus will not look sharp, but the shows in HD look fine. Could this be the case?
    3 there are some video settings you should be able to change. By default they are lower res to make it easier on your CPU but you should be able to handle the higher settings.
     
  7. Cottonsworth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    It doesn't give me that option, only the option to select the resolution. I did use the same component cables hooked directly to my TV and the image quality is fine. Truly stumped on this one.
     
  8. NEUengineer macrumors member

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    #8
    What's the exact model of tv tuner you are using? 720p may be as good as it gets.
     
  9. Cottonsworth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    1. Yes, I'm 100% the channel I am viewing is 720p HD.
    2. The lack of sharpness is due to the way a double-image is being resolved. I talked to Elgato (the people that make EyeTV) and they assured me that this is not how it is suppose to be and I'm currently waiting on their tech support to offer a solution.
    3. I tried the different settings, none of them seem to make a difference.

    The model I am using is a Verizon Fios Motorola receiver, it outputs 720p but 720p should be sharp, not what I am seeing.
     
  10. NEUengineer macrumors member

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    #10
    I'm sorry, i wasn't very clear. What model of the Elgato unit do you have? I have the Elgato TV Hybrid which can do 720p too, but it sounds like you have a diferent one. They make about a dozen or so. They each have different ways of dealing with resolution and settings between analog and digital inputs. Sometimes ey default settings for computers with minimal CPU power. I doubt this is your problem, but why don't you check and see what your cpu is doing with activity monitor while you a re trying to view HD?

    What do you mean by double imaging? It sounds like there could be a resolution problem with your computer not matching with what the Elgato unit wants to spit out.
     
  11. jcoop macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2003
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    Indianapolis, IN
    #11
    I'm going to follow this thread with interest. I've had an EyeTV HD (this one) for about six months, and I've never been satisfied with the image quality. It's marginally better than the EyeTV 250+ that it replaced, but it's certainly not producing output that's anywhere near HD. I have it connected to a Bright House Networks DVR, which itself isn't exactly Blu-Ray quality, but there's a huge drop-off in sharpness between the DVR quality and what the EyeTV HD gets onto my computer.
     
  12. Cottonsworth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I have the same unit as you. Can you please take a look at my screen capture attachments? Please let me know if you are experiencing the same type of image quality by looking at the attachment with the menu text. If you look closely at the text, you can see an outline of each word, it's almost like a shadow. Also, if you look closely at the attachment of a movie I screen captured, you can also see the double image if you look closely at the channel logo on the lower right hand corner. It is more obvious on text than on a moving image but the issue of a "double-image" is what is causing the picture quality to be so poor.

    I second what you are saying, there is a huge drop off between the DVR quality on my TV screen and what is showing on my computer. Please let me know if you are also experiencing the "double-image" issue, this will explain a lot of things then. Elgato claims I should not be experiencing this and their tech support has yet to reply to me after this issue has been elevated.
     
  13. Cottonsworth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    I have a different unit, the exact model number is EyeTV HD and can be found on this link, http://www.elgato.com/elgato/na/mainmenu/products/EyeTV-HD/product1.en.html

    I tinkered with the setting that deals with resolution and it isn't making a difference.

    What I mean by double-imaging is that the video output is showing two images of the same image but their overlap is slightly off, thus producing a blurry image. If you look closely at the screen attachment of the menu and look at the text, you can see the outline of every text. It is also there for non-text, but is not as obvious. If you look at the attachment with the movie screen capture, you can observe the double image on the Starz channel logo on the lower right hand corner.
     
  14. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

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  15. Cottonsworth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Probably about 3 feet long? I used the ones that came with the EyeTV HD.
     
  16. Cottonsworth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Update, it's been more than 48 hours since Elgato elevated my issue to developer-level tech support and still no response.

    jcoop: If you have a chance, please take a look at my screen captures and see if you are experiencing the same issue, thanks.
     
  17. fpnc, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    fpnc macrumors 68000

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    #17
    I also have one of the EyeTV HD units (offers direct HD component inputs and H.264 out at up to 12Mbps) and while I haven't done extensive comparisons of sharpness I can report that the unit appears to be unable to record HD video without dropping frames. I can't get a clean 1080i 30fps cadence during captures and while the recordings at 720p60 look pretty good I still see dropped frames that also break the cadence in the progressive 60 frame-per-second output. The net result is that there appears to be no way to get high-quality HD recordings out of this unit (because of the dropped frames). I doing my captures on a Mac Pro, 4x2.66GHz so I don't think it is a problem with the performance of my hardware and the drives that I am recording to are internal, 1TB, Western Digital Blacks which should easily handle the data rates needed to write the files.

    I'm still experimenting with the EyeTV HD recording, so I may find a solution but as yet I'm not too impressed with the unit itself. This problem is similar to the issues I've had with other analog video recorders, I've yet to find an analog recorder that can do flawless recording. The standard definition units drop frames even at SD sizes and now I'm seeing a similar result with the HD units, it seems that they are all over spec'd (i.e. SD units can't really handle the SD data rates and the HD units appear to have problems handling HD). I'm going to try some recordings at 480p to see if that works with the EyeTV HD (update, that didn't seem to help so I have yet to find a way to do really clean analog captures).

    Note, these issues are pretty subtle, I doubt that most users would even notice the dropped frames that happen at 720p60, but the cadence breaks caused by the dropped frames make it almost impossible to convert film-based material back to their original 24fps rate.
     
  18. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

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    #18
    Cottonsworth, have you visited "eyetv lounge"? You may have better luck finding answers there as it is a forum populated by eyetv users and is frequented by Elgato tech support employees who may be able to help you.
     
  19. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

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    Hanover MD
    #19
    maybe I dont pay that close of attention to my eyetv recordings, but mine seem to be fine and probably as clear as they are on the cable box for the most part.

    I have the elgato eyetd hd hooked to my fios box via supplied cables and software running on my 2010 mini server and have noticed no frame drops when played on my apple tv.

    but im not looking for blu ray quality from them, just a medium where I can keep shows that are on my dvr to free up space in case I dont have time to watch them.
     
  20. NEUengineer macrumors member

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    #20
    You need to keep in mind that "HD" quality is defined as anything above standard TV quality. Therefore, these tuners are technically HD quality. Yes, they are not gret HD quality, but they are not faulty advertising themselves. With those small tuners, the video processing goes directly to your CPU and that may be th issue. These tuners and recorders are extremely ram hungry as well. I have a MO with 2 3.0 Ghz dual core processors and 4gb ram and i easily run above 50% cpu usage, especially while recording HD. Make sure you have plenty of ram and CPU by using activity monitor.

    Additionally, SD also requires a lot of cpu power but I'm not sure why. If you read the specs of these units, they talk about additional processing of the SD signal before it is displayed on the monitor and/or recorded. My guess is that since SD is analog, the signal needs to be converted to a digita signal before it is displayed or reco recorded, since all modern electronics work with digital signals.
     
  21. mizelly41, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    mizelly41 macrumors regular

    mizelly41

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    #21
    I just got the EyeTV HD and hooked up. I have posted a few screenshots so you can compare.

    I have the EyeTV hooked up to a Comcast Motorola HD DVR Box. It is hooked to an iMac 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB Ram.
    Screen shot 2011-01-06 at 6.55.37 PM.png
    Screen shot 2011-01-06 at 6.55.53 PM.png
    [EDIT] I guess I don't have HD eyes because I don't see the problem with your pictures. I must be looking for the wrong things. So with that said I'm not sure if my unit is operating properly and that is why I posted for you to compare.

    Also I have a splitter coming out of the Comcast unit so it sends the TV signal to my TV and the EyeTV. My TV and computer sit right next to each other and I can't really see a difference in quality.
     
  22. fpnc macrumors 68000

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    #22
    If you're just doing casual viewing of recordings on your TV you may not notice the dropped frames. However, they'd probably be much more noticeable when viewed on your computer monitor. However, one quick test is to record from a program that has a text crawl along the bottom or top of the image (like CNN Headline News). If you record from a source like this you will probably see that the text crawl will no longer have a smooth motion, it will have little jumps in the playback which indicate that the recording has lost some frames. I haven't confirmed the latter behavior on the EyeTV HD, but I've seen such problems on other analog video recorders so I suspect that it may also happen on the EyeTV HD (Why haven't I tried that test myself? Because right now I don't have any cable or over-the-air TV, I just have my Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and DVDs/Blu-rays).

    You can also confirm the frame drops by looking carefully at the cadence in a 720p60 recording, where from a 24fps source you should see a consistent cadence of two repeated frames followed by three repeated frames which repeat in a regular pattern (i.e. 2:3:2:3:2:3) until you have all sixty frames that reproduce the 24 frames in the original progressive source. What I see from my EyeTV HD is intermittent broken cadence, so I may get a pattern that looks like 2:3:3:2... (or worse). I don't know what is causing this, it may be a frame sync issue between the source device and the EyeTV or the EyeTV might be falling behind in its video processing. The net result is that you don't get a clean cadence in the 720p60 recording and that makes it almost impossible to convert the recording back to the 24fps format of the original video. These breaks can happen right in the middle of a scene, so I don't think that it is caused by edits in the original source (also, if you record the same sequence several times the breaks don't happen in the same locations, it's random).

    In any case, I'm still looking into this issue and I'm not 100% certain that it is a problem that is entirely the "fault" of the EyeTV HD.
     
  23. mizelly41 macrumors regular

    mizelly41

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    #23
    Anybody having this problem or know of a solution?
    Screen shot 2011-01-07 at 8.15.33 PM.jpg
     
  24. Phantom Gremlin macrumors regular

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    Tualatin, Oregon
    #24
    Are there any other forums that might discuss this issue? Does Elgato have active forums?

    I know that the AVS Forum Mac HTPC subforum sometimes discusses this hardware, but it's not a high traffic group so maybe nobody there has seen the issue.
     
  25. jcoop macrumors member

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    #25
    Sorry I've been away from this thread--work travel, followed by a project with a deadline this coming Tuesday. I probably won't have time to put together some screenshots until next week, but will try to do so then. I can say, though, that I haven't seen anything like mizelly41's screenshot.
     

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