EyeTV Hybrid, 250, HD Home Run and Turbo.264

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jlmcclellan, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. jlmcclellan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    Before you start flaming me for asking questions that have already been asked I'd just like to say that I've done a search of the forums and read through many threads and none of them seemed to fully answer my questions regarding the products which I listed in the title of the thread.

    Basically here's my situation. I am looking to get a TV tuner card which I can use to record some shows which I enjoy (Heroes, Avatar, etc.) and that will allow me to put these recorded shows onto my iTunes and if I ever get an Apple TV allow me to watch them over this. I also want to be able to hook up a VCR and record some old tapes onto digital format so I don't have to deal with them anymore. Basically it seems that either the Hybrid or the EyeTV 250 should be able to accomplish both of these things, is this correct?

    Then as I was searching around I ran into these other products such as the HD Home Run and the Turbo.264. I know essentially what they do but I am a little confused on how one would use them and if they need to be used alongside the EyeTV Hybrid or 250 or if they do the same things as stand-alone devices. Essentially what I'm asking is if I were to buy an EyeTV Hybrid would it accomplish the above listed things and then what would it benefit me to also purchase the HD Home Run and the Turbo.264?

    Thanks for your help! I appreciate it greatly!
     
  2. suprajoe macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #2
    I'm not sure of an answer, but if you do decide to get the HomeRun, I have one that I will sell you, or anyone at that.
     
  3. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #3
    OK, basically, you have correctly identified that the EyeTV Hybrid and EyeTV 250 (the 250 Plus would be the one you actually the one you want, the plain 250 only does analogue, you want both analogue and digital) both offer you the capability to record either digital or analogue TV and, with the included software, export TV recordings and captured video footage from a VCR etc.

    The only real difference aside from the physical form factor of the Hybrid and the 250 Plus is that the 250 Plus has hardware encoding of analogue video into MPEG-1 / MPEG-2, whereas the Hybrid uses the mac's processor exclusively to encode the analogue video into a digital video file.

    The hardware encoding of the 250 Plus is really most useful if you plan on transferring those analogue captures onto DVD as painlessly as possible. EyeTV has different quality pre-sets where you will fit more on a DVD at reduced quality, or less at the best quality.

    Obviously once the VHS captures are done and it's encoded you could convert the files to whatever you wanted, but that will take processor time if you need it encoded in something the 250 Plus doesn't support. So basically the choice between the 250 Plus and the Hybrid comes down to whether you want hardware MPEG-1 /-2 encoding for analogue sources or if you are happy for the mac to take the strain for that for a little less money and the lack of Toast 8 'Basic'.

    If you have a newish mac, the benefits of the Turbo.264 may be doubtful. It is most worth to owners of older macs that would take longer to convert video to H.264. All it does is really offer you a chip on a USB stick and a software front end to do what the mac could already do, but maybe a little faster. So I would say the benefits of that device really depend upon your current machine. If it's not a really fast mac it might be worth it - I have one and it speeds up H.264 encoding on my G5 PowerMac.

    I'm not as familiar with the HD Home Run as the rest of that kit. From what I can tell it's a twin-tuner digital device attached over the network instead of USB 2, right? I'm not sure of the benefit really, maybe someone else can help here, but maybe I'm missing something. Presumably it gives you access to a twin-digital tuner from more than one computer on your network, so maybe you could have a mac mini or something in the living room and a big desktop upstairs, both able to record from the device simultaneously? Either way, if it doesn't appear to have an analogue input so you'd still need one of the EyeTV devices for capturing your VHS stuff.

    Right now my recommendation would be just the 250 Plus. It will come with everything you need to do what you've listed right away, and the hardware encoding is a benefit for whatever mac you have. You could consider adding the Turbo.264 later on if you feel your mac would benefit from it after having used EyeTV and the 250 Plus a bit. If you're strapped for cash the Hybrid is also a good choice, especially on a recent mac.

    Further options for future consideration might include Quicktime Pro and the add-on MPEG-2 Component for Quicktime along with VisualHub and maybe MPEG Streamclip, all could be useful in the future for dealing with the video EyeTV creates. If you have a full copy of Toast 7, 8 or 9 that is all the better too.

    I hope that rather rambling reply was of some use. Do go for it, EyeTV really is superb.
     
  4. jlmcclellan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    #4
    Thank you Porco. So just to clarify if I were to get the 250 plus it would do the hardware encoding and not tax my resources?

    Oh just so it's out there I have a MacBook Pro which I bought in January. 2.2Ghz Dual Core with 4 gigs of ram. Nice quick little machine.

    Anyway so if I do jump on the plus would there be any downside to it as opposed to the Hybrid? Does the Hybrid do something that the 250 plus doesn't? I couldn't find anything on Elgato's website stating this but I thought when I was browsing through these previous topics that someone had mentioned that it didn't do something the Hybrid did or maybe that it didn't do something as well? Does this sound familiar at all to anyone?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #5
    Yeah, at least for capturing analogue stuff from VHS or whatever else, and encoding to MPEG-1 /-2 using the settings for the hardware in EyeTV, you would be avoiding having to use your computer's resources so much. Digital TV streams will often be MPEG-2 anyway, so it'd just save that file without any re-encoding.

    That Macbook Pro will be absolutely fine, nice machine. :cool:

    Not that I know of. Anyone else?

    I personally have an EyeTV 250 Plus and a Diversity (twin digital tuners in a similar form factor to the Hybrid) plus a Turbo.264, and run them on a Dual 2.5Ghz / 5.5GB PowerMac G5 and a 2.16Ghz / 2GB MacBook.

    One random fact that may or may not effect you, but when I got my 250 Plus it didn't seem to be working properly, but then I tried it without the included power adapter and it's perfect just bus powered. So maybe don't plug in the power adapter unless you need to.
     
  6. gehrbox macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #6
    Mine has been working fine using the included power adapter.
     
  7. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #7
    Good to know - maybe it was mine has a dodgy power adapter or something, that's why I said "that may or may not effect you...". Does yours not work just bus-powered then?
     
  8. gehrbox macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #8
    I've measured voltages on a bunch of wallwarts and noted significant variations from the voltages they were labeled to output. One of them said 5v, its true output was 11v. Another said 9v and output 15v. Could be the one you have has it's voltage out of wack.
     
  9. jlmcclellan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    #9
    Ok then here's an update. I went with the Hybrid. So far it works pretty dang well. I'll be trying out the recording features tonight! Thanks a bunch for all of the answers!
     
  10. Whorehay macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #10
    Looking forward to your impressions! I'm looking at one for my TV replacement in college since I'm living in a single room next year. May I ask where you got it?
     
  11. RNSheets macrumors member

    RNSheets

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Location:
    Columbia, Missouri
    #11
    I am seriously thinking of getting the Hybrid and the Turbo.

    Some questions - pretty easy to set up and does the EyeTv do what it claims to do?

    The guided tour seems too good to be true! :D
     
  12. spookybathtub macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #12
    EyeTV 250 Plus voltage

    I know this is a pretty old topic, but maybe one of you can still answer my question. I just bought a used EyeTV 250 Plus on ebay, and it didn't come with a power adapter. It also doesn't have any sort of label regarding power requirements. Can anyone tell me the specs needed so I can find a third-party power adpater? I've heard it's 5V and 2A, but I need to know the polarity; I don't want to ruin it.
    BTW, it doesn't seem to turn on at all without the adapter. I've tried on a powered USB hub, and also directly on my white macbook.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
  14. spookybathtub macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #14
    Thanks for the link, but it doesn't mention the polarity, i.e. whether tip or ring is hot. The power adapter itself should be labeled with a symbol, such as this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AC_adaptor_polarity.png

    I'd really appreciate if someone could take a look at their adapter and see which it is.
     
  15. spookybathtub macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #15
    solved

    Just in case someone else has this same problem, here's what I did:
    I called Elgato support and explained the situation. They shipped me a free power adapter right away. It outputs +5V, 2A, tip is hot. And it can autoswitch from 100-240V AC.
     

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