eyeTV hybrid

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by trumb1mj, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. trumb1mj macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    I am considering using my core duo mini as my tv receiver. I was looking at the eyeTV hybrid. Is this a good choice?

    I wouldn't mind turning off my cable all together.. will I get HD content with this device and a decent antenna?

    does anyone use this setup? have suggestions?

    I live in the chicago area and comcastic's box is garbage.
  2. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    Novi, MI
    i dont see why you shouldnt get decent HD, although i dont use it in that configuration. i use it for cable and it works great. im not sure if it supports digital, so could it be a problem, i am not very knowledgeable on this
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    oh its nice getting over the air hd. just have to make sure your area has a lot

    for instance, oklahoma city had a ton, denver not so much (like 1)
  4. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    I use the EyeTV Hybrid connected to a HD Antenna and in my city I get 10 channels. All local.

    You won't get any pay channels but you shouldn't have any problems getting free over the air HD channels with a good indoor antenna.

    Of course that depends on your location to the towers. Usually if you're within 10-15 miles of the towers you will get good reception unless there is a lot of interference between you and the towers.
  5. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    I ditched cable tv long ago and have a EyeTV Hybrid for the few times I want to catch a show on network TV.

    It works great as long as you can get a good signal. I have this antenna and it works pretty well, although I have to adjust it to get a couple of channels (I'm about 14-15 miles away from the major stations antennas). This antenna gets great reviews, but I haven't tried it.

    You WILL get HD content with the device, if the station sends an HD signal (most do now). Some will be higher resolution than others - it just depends on the station.

    Enter your zip code on this form and it will give you a listing of the stations in your area along with the distance to the station's antenna. If you're within 15 miles or so, then one of the antenna's I linked to will probably work okay (although tall buildings in the area may affect the signal level).

    You may want to consider the EyeTV 250 Plus instead of the Hybrid since it has built in hardware compression. This means that when you record something and want to compress it to save hard drive space, it will do the compression work - leaving the CPU in your Mac free to do other tasks.
  6. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    Do you notice some performance issues with the hybrid running on your mac? I basically use my mini as a server and if necessary it could do a lot more processing tasks...
  7. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    In that case, you'd probably be fine with just the hybrid. :) The hardware compression of the 250 might be a little faster but I'm not really sure.
  8. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    do you know if you can split an antenna?

    can I have the antenna feed into my tv and my eyetv hybrid?
  9. MacFanatic08 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2008
    You should be able to, I don't see why not...
  10. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    I'm able to watch HD on my PowerMac G5 but not record it very well. As you have an intel Mac mini you should be fine, but as others have say, a 250 will do all of the processing itself, freeing up the mini for converting recorded shows for example.
    The hybrid is smaller, but also tends to get a little warm.

    I think you can buy signal splitters, but they will decrease your signal by half.
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
  12. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007

    do you sacrifice a lot of power? does the signal get weaker?
  13. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I have the antenna above, and it kicks butt. DirecTV actually installed it for me because at the time, they didn't offer my local channels in HD on their satellite. Once I saw how clear the local HD channels looked, I ended up dropping DTV.

    You technically lose power every time you split the feed coming off of the antenna.

    Having said that, mine is split 3 times, and the signal strength for all but one of my local channels is 95+. The one channel that isn't 95+ is in the high 80s and has perfect quality.

    Before I spent the time to properly point the antenna (using the same link in atari1356's post), the signal strength for the channels was in the upper 70's and still perfect quality.
  14. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    great news

    I just ordered the same antenna. I am only going to split once...
  15. Jshwon macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    I had a similar set up but used the HDHomeRun which provided both over the air HD and clear QAM (which is unencrypted channels comcast puts out). With this option I got far more HD channels like ESPN HD, Discovery HD, etc. Also it has DVR software and two tuners for recording two shows at once or picture-in-picture. To me this was the best option. Someone posted a link where you could find available channels but here is another one: www.silicondust.com

    Oh and I'm selling my set up for cheap if your interested. Comes with the HDHomeRun and Elgato software with two license keys.
  16. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    In downtown Chicago myself. I use the eyeTV Hybrid with this antenna and get stellar picture quality, despite being surrounded by skyscrapers. I was very surprised.

    Check out these pics (WARNING: extremely large PNG pictures):


    The only downside is that this antenna only gets UHF channels (so no WBBM Ch. 2). If you find one that gets a clear reception, and VHF channels, let me know. For now, I'm sticking with this antenna - it's cheap, for indoor use, relatively small and doesn't require power, and I very rarely have a need for channel 2.
  17. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    That picture looks great

    I am excited to start using my new antenna.
  18. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007

    Does the HDHomeRun have all of the features of the eyeTV Hybrid? Is it worth the extra $50?
  19. renault4 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    as others have responded here already, your ability to pull down OTA transmissions will depend on the antenna you use, your proximity to the tower and the degree of structures between you and the broadcast tower. www.antennaweb.org has a good site for determining your location relative to your signal towers.

    Cable companies are required to carry the network's HD signals on their system. The newer generation of EyeTV Hybrids can decode the Clear QAM signal from your cable connection--you might still have to pay for the most basic service from your cable company, but then you would get the local networks, PBS and maybe some other channels in HD, if you cannot get a good antenna reception.
  20. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    I understand HD tuning

    Renault, as I posted, I was asking about the functionality of the HDHomeRun.

    I understand HD tuning and actually have purchased an HD antenna.

    Is the extra $50 for the HomeRun worth it? Will it be more abatable when the all HD change happens?

    Does anyone run one of these things?
  21. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If you browse to the follow link, you should be able to select the Hybrid and compare it to the HomeRun.

    I'm 90% sure I'm going to pick up a HomeRun and plug it into my wireless router so I'll be able to watch TV anywhere in my house without having to have the USB Hybrid + the antenna physically plugged into my MacBook Pro.
  22. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    yeah same here

    I have a couple mac laptops in the house and a mini hooked up to my tv. it would be pretty sweet to be able to use the laptops as "portable tvs". I just want to wait and see how the HD antenna performs before pulling the trigger. aristo, let me know if you get one.
  23. trumb1mj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    Standar def. shutoff - Feb 17, 2009

    How will the shutoff affect HD tuning? Will there still be OTA transmissions after this?
  24. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I'm very happy with my EyeTV Hybrid and its software. I get a decent selection of HD channels over my rabbit ears, and with analog TV on the way out, more digital broadcasts should become available. All free :) And commercial free, since I watch later and skip them. Hulu and the TV network sites provide other free programming, including cable shows like Battlestar Galactica, so there's no need for me to pay for cable.

    Note: the choice of antennas matters. A big wall-mount or roof antenna will likely get more channels than indoor rabbit ears, but also one brand or model of antenna will do better than another. I read that the Philips Silver Sensor PHDTV3 was the best indoor rabbit ear choice, and sure enough, it seems to be true. NOT the earlier Silver Sensor with a tall black stand, but the low triangle with rabbit ears attached (look at the picture). I first bought some other name brand HDTV antenna and didn't get many channels. Then I bought this one. (Note that you don't NEED special rabbit ears for HD, you can use any old rabbit ears--but they won't work as well if the signal's not strong. If you already have a roof antenna though, even if it's not "meant" for digital it may be fine.)

    Also, if your signal is weak, a few degrees of rotation or a few inches of movement can make the difference between no picture and a clear picture. This site (I think this is the one) can help you know the directions to try aiming: http://www.antennaweb.org/

    I aim generally toward the largest number of stations, but I get others I'm not aimed at as well. And every few weeks it seems I have to adjust my antenna--maybe weather-related.
  25. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    OK, this is how I understand it. If I'm wrong, hopefully someone will correct me. :eek:

    Most TV stations OTA broadcast two signals -- non-HD (analog) and HD (digital).

    Next Feb, they will stop broadcasting the non-HD (analog) signal. They'll continue to broadcast the HD (digital) signal.

    Some stations will change the "channel" (frequency) that they broadcast the HD signal on, but that's about the only real change I know that will affect the HD tuning.

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