Elgato EyeTV w/Digital Cable?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mmoin, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. mmoin macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2001
    I'm going to law school this fall, and will be living in a very small dorm room, so I'm considering the idea of consolidating my TV watching and computer using onto one screen. If I get a PMG5, say a 23" Cinema Display, and an eyeTV (not sure which one to buy, maybe the 400?), would I be able to watch digital cable (I'm getting comcast in boston) on my mac? Are any of the EyeTV units able to work with a digital cable type system, or would I just be better off getting an LCD monitor with composite/svideo inputs and just doing Picture-in-Picture? Sorry if my questions sound completely ignorant, but I've never tried anything like this.

  2. GM-Xfire macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2005

    I am using the EyeTV 200. It has two, oops, three inputs. One for an antenna, one for S Video and then an RCA input (red, white, yellow). I can get all the "basic" channels using the antenna input but none of the higher (digital) channels. However that's where the RCA jacks come in. If you have a digital cable box you can send its output to your EyeTV. You would then have to change the channel on your cable box.

    PS The integration with TitanTV is sweet.... when you locate a show you want to record you click a link and it puts it all the show information into your EyeTV recording session.

    Hope that helps.
  3. ScruffyTheMac macrumors regular

    May 21, 2005
    I have Comcast in the Boston suburbs. I'm using an EyeTV 500 to get the clear QAM channels. Unencrypted channels that are available include all the local HD stations, TNT-HD, the national PBS-HD channel, standard def versions of all the locals, and a boatload of digital music channels.

    HD looks great on a 23" Cinema display - I highly recommend it.

    In theory, all the basic analog channels (news, tvland, bravo, etc) are supposed to be added to the standard def digital lineup - not sure when that is happening.
  4. Xenious macrumors 6502a

    Mar 22, 2004
    Texas, USA
    IMHO this is why eye tv is poor. Is it so hard for them to build an IR pass through for it? I love my G5, but Windows Media Center is so much better for TV since it has the IR blaster which can change channels on your digitial cable box for you. I was really disappointed to find out none (that I've seen) of the Apple TV interface providers support a similar feature. Bah!

    I guess I'm one of the "sick minority" who thinks Apple should converge and office XP Media Center like functionality on the OS. :)
  5. Grover macrumors member

    May 14, 2004
    The 500 is the one you'd want for digital signals. The output looks fantastic on a Cinema Display. The downside is that it's digital only and only receives unencrypted signals. Although I discovered after the fact that this is clearly spelled out on El Gato's site, I didn't fully grasp that there was no analog input at all. As GM-Xfire says, the other EyeTV models have AV inputs. I figured the 500 would have some kind of hybrid system that would receive the digital channels (either over-the-air or on cable) in addition to the normal cable. Not the case.

    I found that I do receive a limited number of unencrypted digital channels without a converter box. From that I can tell you that the 500 works as advertised. If your cable box outputs all the channels you want digitally, then the 500 will get you a better quality picture. If not, then you can get a 200 and hook it up as GM-Xfire describes.

    Xenious, I couldn't agree more. El Gato's EyeTV 200 FAQ has said this for quite some time:

    "We're working on providing an infrared remote dongle that will allow EyeTV's software to switch cable and satellite boxes automatically."

    I don't know what's taking so long but this would be a very welcome addition.

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