EyeTV v. Pinnacle HD Mini Stick

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Ellen, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Ellen macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2007
    #1
    I have been testing the EyeTV Hybrid 2009 on my iMac and am not sold on it yet - was wondering if anyone has the Pinnacle HD Mini Stick for the Mac and if one is considered to be superior to the other. I realize that the later comes with the lite version of the EyeTV software but that doesn't bother me.

    With the EyeTv if I connect from my cable box to to the iMac I get all the channels but the quality is not pristine. I had thought this was digital TV but it is described by Elgato as analog. Is that the same with the Pinnacle? Is the antenna provided with the Pinnacle of any use? I bought what I thought was a small picture frame antenna from Radio Shack and it is larger than what I had hoped for - so my desire to have a portable setup with my Macbook has also pretty much been stymied.
     
  2. wakerider017 macrumors 68000

    wakerider017

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    #2
    Let me start off by saying I own an Eyetv Hybrid and I have never used a Pinnacle HD Mini Stick.

    The signal coming from your cable box is NOT digital even though it is a digital box. It is being transmitted from the box to the Eyetv tuner with an analog coaxial cable. (In order for you to receive true digital content you must use a HDMI cable or DVI cable). Currently there is not a TV tuner for Mac that I know of that accepts either HDMI or DVI input.

    Additionally analog content is in NTSC format, the Pinnacle only supports Digital (ATSC and Clear QAM).

    The EyeTV Hybrid supports all 3. You would not be able to use the Pinnacle with your cable box.

    Depends on your area with that antenna, just have to test it an see. Nothing special about it. It is just a single bunny ear that has been around for decades. You don't need a special antenna to pick up the new over the air digital broadcasts.

    So to sum it up, stick with your Eyetv ;)

    Hope this helps
     
  3. Ellen thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks, if anyone knows about the Tubestick I wouldn't mind hearing about that too.

    Is it likely there will be a device any time soon that will truly accept digital from a cable box? Having spent about $150 plus for the antenna, I'm wavering...
     
  4. wakerider017 macrumors 68000

    wakerider017

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    #4
    ohhhh, $150 sounds really pricey for an antenna. You should be able to get the job done with a $25 antenna.

    Hauppauge came out with an HD PVR that you can use for your Mac (Works with Eyetv) although it is still analog. It uses Component cables. Should improve the picture substantially. But, it doesn't have a tuner, which means you can't hook an antenna up to it!

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html

    The TubeStick hybrid looks very similar to your Eyetv hybrid. No mention of FM radio feature or whether it is compatible with Eyetv software. You would have to check on that. This device shouldn't have any advantage over your current tuner.

    No idea when or if they will ever come out with something that has HDMI/DVI input. I will be first in line ;)
     
  5. Ellen thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2007
    #5
    Sorry, I meant $150 for the Eyetv plus the cost of an antenna. But at this stage I am leaning toward returning them both. The Tubestick looks interesting because it all seems more portable, at least with the smaller antenna (if it works - a big if).
     
  6. wakerider017 macrumors 68000

    wakerider017

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    #6
    Oh, I thought you meant $150+ for antenna. Haha

    That's an option. Only change you should expect to see is easier portability with new antenna.

    If you were looking for a new antenna this one should work fine:
    http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Technolo...2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1233984587&sr=8-2
     
  7. Ellen thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2007
    #7
    Thanks. After considering the cost, I am going to return the Elgato - and maybe if I ever see the Tubestick at a great price, give it a try. I have TV in the same room as my iMac, and for the Macbook the only reason to do this would be portability. I was also hoping, wrongly I guess, that I would have a better quality connection if I wanted to record programs off my cable box. So I'll wait and see (and probably regret this decision!)
     
  8. wakerider017 macrumors 68000

    wakerider017

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    #8
    Haha, glad you got things figured out.

    Rule of thumb is analog standard definition rarely ever looks good on LCD's especially High Res monitors with small pixels ;)

    I just sit back a few feet and I can't tell. :cool:
     
  9. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #9
    The TubeStick does look cool.

    I'd stick with the EyeTV Hybrid though. It's a much more proven product, and the support for it is great.

    But I do want to buy an antennae that looks like the one that comes with the TubeStick! :D

    And to the other poster about DVI/HDMI: You're right that if you want a pure digital signal, those two are the only way to go currently (DisplayPort also, but it's too new to count yet).

    However, you don't need a TV tuner to receive a HDMI/DVI signal from a cable box or whatnot. You just have to have a display, any display, that has a HDMI or DVI input.

    If you're waiting for a DVI or HDMI to USB dongle, that's never going to happen. The bandwidth required makes this physically impossible.
     
  10. wakerider017 macrumors 68000

    wakerider017

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    #10
    Ah yup DisplayPort, forgot about that one.

    The reason I love my TV tuner so much is because I am able to record my favorite shows. If I just plugged it into my monitor I would not be able to do that.

    Maybe USB 3.0 will help us with that bandwidth problem??
     
  11. Changepoint macrumors member

    Changepoint

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #11
    I checked out the Hauppauge site and it didn't mention it wokring with macs, they had a page on mac products and it wasn't in there either :confused:
     
  12. wakerider017 macrumors 68000

    wakerider017

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    #12
    Check out the Elgato site ;)

    It is supported
     
  13. jdfb macrumors newbie

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    Feb 26, 2009
    #13
    eyetv hybrid vs eyetv plus 250

    Hi, this thread has been very informative, thank you.

    I have been reading/researching and it seems that the Elgato is def the company to go with. Does anyone know the difference between the 250 and the hybrid? The only difference I'm seeing is that the 250 is AC powered, vs the hybrid being bus powered. Also, is there a difference between the 2009 and the 2008 hybrid model for North America?

    Thanks for comments
     
  14. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I have the eyeTV diversity 2009. Which is a digital tuner - in fact its two, which is great to have when two of my favourite programs are on at the same time.

    Tuners are really all the same, its Elgatos eyeTV software that makes it kickarse.
     
  15. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a

    manhattanboy

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    #15
    Agree
    and the difference between an analog output and a digital output is crazy insane. However, most boxes output only analog and thus the quality is generally crap.

    However, I use the TV tuner primarily for converting analog content into the iPhone, for which it produces a great resolution!
     
  16. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #16
    Been looking into the EyeTV products myself to couple with a new mini, so for all of you that have it, do the shows you record and playback thru your Macs look as good as when watching it straight OTA when playing on a +40" HDTV? Quality is my biggest concern with Elgato's line-up. I've only heard good things about them, but never seen their products in action with my own eyes.
     
  17. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Yes they do, but recordings take up loads of space. 1.4GB for a 30min show - and thats in digital SD quality.
    However, after you encode them with Toast (or whatever) they become more manageable. You do make small sacrifices in quality for this convenience.
     
  18. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #18
    Thanks. The recordings, do they need to be encoded to play back or can you watch them in whatever format they are captured? Space isn't a concern...
     
  19. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

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    #19
    They're in .eyeTV or something, the eyeTV software plays them back no worries. But you'll need to encode to watch them with anything else.
     

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