Eyetv and hdhomerun extend (plus)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Richdmoore, May 3, 2015.

  1. Richdmoore macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #1
    Is anyone using both eyetv and the latest hdhomerun extend (previously renamed plus model)?

    Looking at the eyetv web site, it says it is not supported, but I see some other posts that indicate it might work with the latest firmware.

    I have cut the cable down to internet only, and am using an old eyetv one usb tuner and an ancient single tuner hdhomerun (1st gen) and I was looking to both future proof and clean up the mess of cables with a new tuner that can transcode, if it works with eyetv.
     
  2. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    #2
    You might want to check the silicondust forums. Lots of info there.

    Also silicondust is coming out with a dvr function
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1275320038/hdhomerun-dvr-the-dvr-re-imagined

    This should make it easier to watch recorded shows without the needs to convert them.
     
  3. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #3
    I used the HD Homerun Plus (now Extend, apparently) for about a year with EyeTV. Prior to that I used the HD Homerun Dual tuner (the previous model) with EyeTV for about 2 years.

    Yes the Extend works (at least up to Mac OS 10 Mavericks. . . I've seen some people say the EyeTV connection no longer works in Mac OS Yosemite. Can't verify that myself but you may want to google around before buying if your mac runs Yosemite.)

    Elgato (makers of EyeTV) officially do not support it. But if you set it up with EyeTV selecting the "Elgato HDHomerun" tuner, EyeTV will think the "Extend" is the previous HD Homerun model (the "HD Homerun Dual"), which DID used to be supported by EyeTV. So you can at least use the "Extend" in the same way as the "Dual". However, the additional feature of having the "Extend" do the transcoding for you, so your Mac doesn't have to, only seems to work if you manually click the Apple-TV-shaped "720pHD" button in EyeTV. The auto-export function seems to want to have EyeTV (i.e., your mac) re-transcode the file whether or not the HD Homerun had already transcoded it or not. This is annoying considering I consider the transcoding function to be the only reason to buy an "Extend" rather than a "Dual", which costs less.

    I found this annoying, but livable: You can basically just set your HDHomerun Extend to transcode its recordings and deliver them to EyeTV WITHOUT auto-exporting to iTunes. Then, when you are ready to watch them, you have to go into EyeTV, select a recorded program, and click that Apple-TV-shaped button. It will take 1-3 minutes for it to "export" that already-transcoded recording to iTunes (so you can watch it on your Apple TV). This is compared to the 1-2 hours it would take my 6-year-old MBP (Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.8 MHz) to do the transcoding itself using "auto-export".

    Caveats:
    -Since EyeTV doesn't officially support SiliconDust products any more, you cannot expect Elgato to spend any effort making use of an HD Homerun product easier for you. There are so many small things they could do to help, but they simply do not give a damn. If you ask a question about it on their forums, they will give you a half-answer and remind you they don't support that hardware.

    -Personally, I stopped using EyeTV / HD Homerun about 6 months ago in favor of the Channelmaster DVR+, which officially retails for $250 but occasionally goes on sale (I got it on black Friday for $175). This unit has worked superbly for me over the past 6 months, and I currently have no intention of going back to use the EyeTV/ HDHR combo. The only down side is the Channelmaster unit does not serve multiple TVs. But the benefits in simplicity, to me, are far greater than that one down side. I no longer have to worry about getting SiliconDust hardware (HD Homerun) to play nice with Elgato software (EyeTV), and my router, and iTunes, and the Apple TV. Instead of that complex system, I get one simple and effective DVR box directly connected to one TV, with an easy-to-use user interface. Plus the guide data is free, unlike EyeTV (which uses TV Guide data that costs $20/year.)
     
  4. dapetrun macrumors regular

    dapetrun

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Western Pennsylvania
    #4
    I have been using the new HDHomeRun Extend (with built in encoding) since January of this year. I had to send 2 of them back before SiliconDust finally got a good working unit out to me but this latest unit works well with the most recent April firmware update. The unit records without problem now and the file size is much smaller, about ¼ the previous non-encoded models recording size. I have been using HDHomeRun's ever since Elgato first offered them for sale more than 10 years ago (but made for Elgato by SiliconDust).

    Elgato's tech support sucks severely. SiliconDust tech support is much better.

    I have been using TitanTV's TV-guide service ever since Elgato started gouging their customers for extending their channel guide service and it works quite well for a free service.

    I too have bought the ChannelMaster DVR but find it will freeze on me at times and fail to record programing until a reboot repairs the hiccup. I dislike the banner at the bottom of the Channelmakstrer DVR screen for several seconds when any jump buttons are touched either forward or backward. Other than that, the two DVR's together work well for me but I like recording on the HDHomeRun better because it gives me the ability to remove all commercials allowing uninterrupted TV viewing for :42 minutes without touching anything!

    I dropped my cable and cancelled my DirectTV contract more than 15 years ago. I get more than 55 free channels (most in HD) off my rooftop aerial in the northwest Pittsburgh suburbs. I will NEVER go back to Comcast! AppleTV, HBONow, Netflix and RedBox is more than I can ever watch or want to watch.
     
  5. dgalvan123, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 7, 2015

    dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #5
    I'll mention that last year when I got my HD HomeRun Extend (then called the "Plus"), the first unit I received was defective in that the fan would never turn off and was quite noisy, and wouldn't connect to the network. SiliconDust sent me a new one and that one has functioned well.

    I also agree SiliconDust is much more responsive and helpful than Elgato. SiliconDust's user forums are a good resource. But unfortunately SiliconDust can't get Elgato to improve EyeTV software for the benefit of HDHomerun users, and EyeTV is the best DVR software for Mac. (other maverick users will tout MythTV. But every time I started looking into that my eyes glazed over due to all the command-line-level hacking that appeared to be involved in set up and maintenance.)

    SiliconDust has a kickstarter fund to gauge whether there is a market for them developing DVR software. I certainly hope they are successful with that, as it would allow them to control both the hardware AND the DVR software and hopefully provide a more streamlined experience. That probably won't be out for a year or so, I'd suspect.

    Unfortunately we have a situation where one company (SD) has the superior hardware (Elgato also sells tuners, but still hasn't seen the light on network-attached tuners for some reason), and the other (Elgato) has the superior software, but is unwilling to accommodate users of the superior hardware. So I'm all for SD developing their own software (which they hadn't really invested in before) and displacing Elgato in the market. Adapt or suffer the consequences, Elgato.

    I thought Elgato specifically disallowed use of TitanTV as a guide source in their software somehow. Are you doing this through a hack? If so, I'd be curious to see how.

    This has happened to me twice in the past 6 months. It is indeed annoying, but I still consider it a simpler fix (unplug the unit, plug it back in) to most of the setup and troubleshooting that accompanies the HDHR/EyeTV solution.

    For example: I'd say 5%-10% of the time, my HD Homerun Extend would record the wrong channel, but EyeTV would label it with the metadata of the originally intended recording. So on our Apple TV my wife would see the recording labeled "The Mindy Project", but when she actually pressed play a show from a different network would have been recorded, and I get the "your system isn't working!" look. I never figured out why this happened, and couldn't find any pattern to it. Seemed to be random and unavoidable, though infrequent. I chalked it up to EyeTV somehow not being able to properly command the HDHomerun to change a channel sometimes.

    (Luckily nowadays when a recording is missed you can almost always find the missed show streaming on the web, and airplay it to the AppleTV somehow.)

    I guess every system has its foibles. Maybe TiVo is best for quality, but their monthly fee makes it a non-starter for me.

    I experimented with ETVComskip a couple years ago, but never got it to work consistently. For a while it was removing the commercials for all NBC and FOX shows, but not CBS or ABC shows. Something to do with different networks having different queue-able signals indicating the start/stop of a commercial break, and Comskip not picking up on those different queues. I stopped messing with the applescript when I lost confidence I could get it to work consistently.
    If I had more free time I might investigate further, but at this point in my life it's easier to hit the "skip-ahead" button a couple of times while watching rather than spend an evening or two troubleshooting the ComSkip applescripts.

    Back when I started with HDHR and EyeTV (about 5 years ago), I enjoyed the novelty of getting DVR capability at a fraction of the cost of cable or Tivo, and actually enjoyed the hacking/troubleshooting to get it to work well at the 85% level. Now with two young kids, all their activities, and a house/yard to maintain, my time is worth much more than it used to be. Simplicity is king.
     
  6. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #6
    I've started looking into this stuff as well but won't pull the trigger on anything until I hear about the future of TV. A new TV might make all this unnecessary, at least I hope it does. Cobbling together all these components is too complicated and time-consuming for me to only get so so results.
     
  7. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #7
    It's always wise to wait and see if a major new product is inbound within a month or so.

    That said, I predict the new ATV hardware is not going to have much impact on the interest in OTA DVRs. Of the things the new ATV will have, I have heard nothing indicating it will have OTA DVR capability. Just not part of Apple's business model. Everything is about streaming for them.

    I have Apple TVs and love them. My main reason for OTA DVRs (the Channelmaster DVR+, or SiliconDust HD Homerun and Elgato EyeTV) is to record the free, high-definition network programming available over the air waves. Basically, it saves me from having to pay for something like Hulu (which doesn't even have all the networks last time I checked), and provides a parallel path to entertainment that is not dependent on my internet connection. Even the pay services for present-day programming (like Hulu) force you to watch commercials you can't skip. With an OTA DVR I have total control/independence for that network programming.

    I will say we have ended up using our DVRs gradually less and less as new ATV channels have popped up. The FoxNOW app has some shows that do not require a cable subscription (like the Mindy Project), mixed in with others that do (like the Simpsons). The PBS ATV channel meant we didn't have to bother recording Downton Abbey on the DVR because it was available to stream for free (though my wife did record it on the DVR+ just to have as a backup).
     
  8. dapetrun macrumors regular

    dapetrun

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Western Pennsylvania
    #8
    I've never had a problem using TitanTV and mine is not hacked, the only caveat is that it doesn't repeat the week to week programing nor will it auto record series. I just que-up each show for the week every Sunday and then manually take out all commercials each morning or when time permits. It only takes a few minutes to remove all commercials and I never had much luck with ComSkip either.

    I use to have the same problems but SiliconDust sent me another unit (#3). I would suggest downloading the latest (April) firmware and EyeTV's most recent update (3.6.8). Since I have done this my HDHomeRun unit has been running flawlessly, even on Yosemite!! The fan cycles off/on as it should to dissipate the heat, but it will continue to do this even when it isn't recording anything as long as EyeTV remains open. Close EyeTV and the unit is silent.

    Sorry for the late follow up post but I've been tied up with jury duty all freakin' week!!
     
  9. balticgreen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #9
    That Kickstarter had a stretch goal, which has now been reached, for support of the HDHomeRun DVR within Plex. I already use and enjoy Plex so this is great news for me. Hopefully it also gives Elgato a kick in the pants to get their game back on track. This plus whatever Apple is going to announce should make this summer interesting.
     
  10. poorcody macrumors 6502

    poorcody

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    #10
    Windows Media Center

    I just thought I'd chime in here... I am using the original HD HomeRun Dual, connected to my Mac Mini... but I use Windows Media Center (Windows 7) running under Parallels as my DVR. Sounds complex, but I've found it to be 100% reliable. I've been running it 24/7 for a couple of years now. It was the cheapest solution I could find.
     
  11. HobeSoundDarryl, May 25, 2015
    Last edited: May 25, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #11
    This is typical of the cord cutter scenario. To get close to what you want, it's often a compromise of:
    • cobbling together various hardware & software to cover all of the bases
    • probably some need for airplay(ing) some content
    • often trading HD for something less than HD
    • one gives up live sports unless they can get their fix free OTA
    • often a dependency on an iDevice (which is a mobile device that leaves the home when it's owner is out)

    I suspect it works best for the reasonably tech savvy who is single living alone. Once he takes the iPhone that controls much of it out with him, anyone else back at home may be somewhat-to-thoroughly at a loss as to how to use the "system."

    The cord cutter does up to all of this to save what may end up being only $20-$50 per month, once they pay up for broadband only (instead of some discounted bundle). So they end up with a more complicated "solution" that probably compromises at least some of what they want to watch with <HD picture quality and misses out on some of the latest new programming and much live sports (not available OTA). Meanwhile, they'll probably spend the $20-$50 on a few Starbucks coffees during the month or about 5 meals at McD, etc.

    I'm pretty tech savvy (but not single living alone). I've looked at it a number of ways but every time I dig in I see that it means losing desirable programming, losing picture and sound quality on some programming, not being able to talk about the latest new show that ran last night, or replacing one or two hardware boxes with 2-4 boxes, etc. For $20 or $50 or even $100 (difference), the gain doesn't always seem to align with what is lost.

    For those happy with it, good for you. But, like most things, it's definitely not for everyone. I too look forward to seeing what Apple might deliver. It sounds like it will be a new cut at a basic cable package for $30-$40 per month. Pair $35 with Netflix at $8, maybe Hulu at $8, maybe CBS at $6 and one finds this alternative TV service is around $57/month vs. the national average cable price of $73/month. Broadband-only service will probably be higher so this service + broadband only vs. a cable answer (why can't they assemble the same bundle of channels?) bundled with a broadband discount. If that yields the same mix of channels at about the same price, does the extra channels cable might throw in make their offering more appealing (based on history, the answer would be YES!)? Does the compressed nature of streaming everything vs. less compression of the same via cable make their offering more appealing? Do bandwidth caps and tiers make the cord-cutting scenario end up more expensive?

    It will be interesting to watch how it plays out. I think we believe Apple is going to be able work some kind of miracle but that miracle will entirely depend on broadband pipes fully controlled by the cable companies and the programming- if also assembled in a new version of basic cable by the cable companies- will deliver the EXACT same programming to either kind of subscriber. So then it becomes a battle of a superior UI (that cable could probably replicate) vs. cable's advantages of bundling their version of the same with broadband and voice. I hope Apple can deliver a miracle but there are certainly many issues beyond Apple's control.
     
  12. balticgreen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #12
    Don't forget the cost of those horrid set top boxes cable companies force us to rent. Cable subscribers are easily paying another $10-50+/month for boxes depending on how many TVs they have. I would much rather buy an Apple TV for each television. At $16.99/month for one P.O.S. DVR, I'd break even on an Apple TV in only four months.

    Also, a lot of people have both cable and Netflix; I do. So I wouldn't consider Netflix as part of my "alternative TV" cost since I'm already paying for it with cable. Now, if someone would only subscribe to Netflix because they dropped cable, then yes, that should be counted.

    All of that said, it's not really about cost savings for me. I'll pay more for a better experience. Cable companies (and I'm including phone companies that provide TV service) have no incentive to improve the product or service if we all keep paying for the same crap. Cable companies will care when they lose revenue and I hope Apple releases something that makes that happen.
     
  13. HobeSoundDarryl, May 25, 2015
    Last edited: May 25, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #13
    I appreciate the cost of the boxes but if it's hardware rent we're worried about, what about the rent for the broadband modem? It's not a great leap to imagine that proprietary cable TV box revenues can become proprietary cable modem boxes. I purchased my broadband modem but that doesn't guarantee that Comcast, under pressure in some new model, will allow the broadband signal to continue to be receivable with a user-owned modem.
     
  14. Richdmoore thread starter macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #14
    Just to update, TiVo is running a $400 with lifetime service deal on the Roamio OTA DVR that I decided to purchase instead of updating the eyetv/sd tuner hardware.

    I had some credit with Amazon I used to buy a TiVo stream accessory, so that should allow remote viewing or downloading shows from the TiVo to the iPad as well. It is feature I use a lot with the eyetv.

    I am going to try the ctivo app to transfer any recordings from the TiVo to the mac that I wish to edit & save. I may also pick up a TiVo mini in the future for a second TV, but not right away.

    Hopefully one big advantage of the TiVo is that it should be convenient enough for my wife to use as well.

    I am pairing this with my current Apple TV 3 for online video apps. Hopefully the rumored Apple TV App Store will expand the selection of programming online.
     
  15. balticgreen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #15
    DOCSIS has been a standard since the 90s. I'm not sure what they would do to make a customer-owned modem become inoperable. If they try to do that, the FTC and/or FCC will have something to say about it. They actually already ruled against proprietary STBs in favor of CableCards, just as they ruled against rented landline phones back in the day. Unfortunately for us, third party boxes never became much of a reality (other than overpriced Tivo) the way that third party phones did.

    Personally, I have FiOS, so I don't even have a modem. There's the ONT but Verizon has never charged for that. If they tried to, it would go over as well as the power company trying to charge rent for meters.
     
  16. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    My ISP, RCN, requires something called the "3:1 RCN Gateway" for internet speeds over 100Mbps. Not sure what that is exactly, but since I have the 25Mbps plan and it works perfectly fine for my current streaming needs, I haven't bothered researching it or calling them to ask about it. Still, it sounds proprietary to me...
     
  17. Richdmoore thread starter macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #17
    When I had Charter at first I used my own modem. At some point they chanted to being forced to use a company provided cable modem. They didn't charge a fee for the new modem, but I am sure it was factored into my monthly fee after the changeover.
     
  18. UnfetteredMind macrumors 6502

    UnfetteredMind

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    #18
    What transcode settings are/were you using on the HDHomeRun Extend (eg: Heavy, Mobile)?

    Interesting that only manual export will work. I'm interesting in testing this further so it would be great to know what HDHomeRun transcode settings allow this to work with as little effort as possible.

    So you do the selection of recording via TitanTV on the web, in their iOS app, both or ?
     

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