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TV Tuner

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
OK, been looking at a usb or firewire tv tuner for a while now, many of them seem to be simply software encoding, which is exactly what i don't want...

Whats a good tv tuner for mac, either usb or firewire, that supports hardware encoding?

-Spongytheporus
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spongy View Post

Whats a good tv tuner for mac, either usb or firewire, that supports hardware encoding?

http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetv250
post #3 of 24
I really like my Miglia TVMax... it does hardware encoding in DivX format — something that Elgato's hardware doesn't offer. It has the usual MPEG2 and MPEG4 hardware encoding options too.
The original TVMax comes with a license for the excellent EyeTV software... the same thing that ElGato's own products use. Last year, Miglia started packaging it with their own "MigliaTV" software, which isn't as good, and started calling it the TVMax+. If you can pickup the original TVMax and not the TVMax+ that would be preferred.
post #4 of 24
http://ati.amd.com/products/tvwonder650/usb/index.html

Mac version will be out soon. Same price as the PC.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

http://ati.amd.com/products/tvwonder650/usb/index.html

Mac version will be out soon. Same price as the PC.

that's simply an HDTV tuner... no hardware encoding here
post #6 of 24
Hi,
Don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but I do have a question about EyeTV.

I have an Evolution TV by Miglia that I'd like to run EyeTV with ( I read that it is in fact compatible) I have numerous movies on my Mac that I'd like to put on my iPod. Will both of the above allow me to do this? If so, is this done in the EvoTV box so as to not tax my CPU and in real time? My system can take a day and a half for some movies otherwise, this is why I'm looking for an alternative.

Thanks
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post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1 View Post

Hi,
Don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but I do have a question about EyeTV.

I have an Evolution TV by Miglia that I'd like to run EyeTV with ( I read that it is in fact compatible) I have numerous movies on my Mac that I'd like to put on my iPod. Will both of the above allow me to do this? If so, is this done in the EvoTV box so as to not tax my CPU and in real time? My system can take a day and a half for some movies otherwise, this is why I'm looking for an alternative.

Thanks

Yup the EvolutionTV does hardware encoding, so the CPU tax will be minimal. I believe it's EyeTV 2.0 and above that have a 1-click iPod export feature (settings pre-configured for iPod). I'm using 2.5 and it's definitely there.
post #8 of 24
Great, thx.
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post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spongy View Post

OK, been looking at a usb or firewire tv tuner for a while now, many of them seem to be simply software encoding, which is exactly what i don't want...

Whats a good tv tuner for mac, either usb or firewire, that supports hardware encoding?

-Spongytheporus

I don't think any of the suggestions in this thread encode directly to iPod format. I know Elgato had direct to h.264 encoding in there EyeTV 200, but that's not the same as iPod format, which is a very particular spec in itself. Both Elgato and Miglia seem to offer USB sticks that encode video using hardware.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't think any of the suggestions in this thread encode directly to iPod format. I know Elgato had direct to h.264 encoding in there EyeTV 200, but that's not the same as iPod format, which is a very particular spec in itself. Both Elgato and Miglia seem to offer USB sticks that encode video using hardware.

With my setup (Miglia TVMax and EyeTV 2.5) there is indeed a choice to do hardware encoding directly to an iPod friendly format. Also, EyeTV library has a 1-click-export-to-iPod button at the top of the window... I've never used it, but I'd imagine it's there to make iPod conversion painless as possible in case your settings aren't set up directly to iPod format.
post #11 of 24
I'll easily purchase EyeTV if I know for sure that it will work for what I need it to do. Just to be clear can I take a movie (AVI, MPG etc.) that's already on my system and convert it an iPod format? What formats will it not convert from?

Tony
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post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1 View Post

I'll easily purchase EyeTV if I know for sure that it will work for what I need it to do. Just to be clear can I take a movie (AVI, MPG etc.) that's already on my system and convert it an iPod format? What formats will it not convert from?

Tony

I don't think it works that way... you can export to many formats, but its for your EyeTV library items (your tuner recordings)
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yikes600 View Post

I don't think it works that way... you can export to many formats, but its for your EyeTV library items (your tuner recordings)

I think the Turbo.264 or Video Express would do the job though. I think they are mostly the same hardware, and patch into Quicktime so any video program can use it, or you just export within Quicktime Player.
post #14 of 24
I just wanted to ask another thing related to eyeTV and didn't want to create a new thread just for this.
I have a Rev A Powerbook G4 (USB 1.1 only). Will either the elgato eyetv hybrid, or the eyetv 250plus work with my powerbook? I don't need recording, but I want to by a good tuner with TV-in, to use it on my next macbook pro that will hopefully come soon.
I know of the eyetv310, but I really need a portable product (so eyetv hybrid is favorite even without hardware encoding).
It would be sufficient for me if I could watch the local news on "TV". It doesn't even have to be fullscreen, I just want to use it before Apple releases a new macbookpro 12" or something similar.
Could anyone with one of theses eyeTV products test it on a old mac please?
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by future-ex-pc-user View Post

I just wanted to ask another thing related to eyeTV and didn't want to create a new thread just for this.
I have a Rev A Powerbook G4 (USB 1.1 only). Will either the elgato eyetv hybrid, or the eyetv 250plus work with my powerbook?

I think the devices need both the bandwidth and power that USB 2.0 gives. If you can dig up an EyeTV 200 by ebay or a refurbished one through Elgato, then you can just use your Firewire port. I've found it to be more reliable at analog recording than the hybrid is.
post #16 of 24
Thank you for the answer.
I'd still prefere a more portable system. Eyetv hybrid is ideal, because it is bus powered. But perhaps I'll spend some more money and get the eyetv 250 which works with USB1.1 too (elgato FAQ).
Still, does anyone have a eyeTV hybrid and an older Mac with only USB1.1? Could you please test it to see if it is of any use?
Thank you
post #17 of 24
Spongy,
You may want to consider getting two separate devices, the Elgato Turbo.264 for encoding, and another device for viewing and recording--depending on your other requirements.

Future-ex-pc-user,
You and Spongy haven't mentioned how you plan to receive TV signals. Will you be using analog cable, digital cable (QAM), or digital antenna? If you're using analog cable, then you'd definitely need a firewire interface. The amount of bandwidth it uses is around several hundred Mbps and USB 1.1 won't be able to handle it. In fact, when I have two analog cable devices going into the same USB 2.0 port, which is supposed to allow 480 Mbps, I get an insufficient bandwidth error and no signal on one of the devices. So consider getting the EyeTV 200.

If you're using digital cable or digital antenna, then it will use about 20 Mbps of bandwidth for HDTV. Since, I think, USB 1.1 allows a throughput of 12 Mbps, you'd have to reduce the resolution by roughly one half. However, two other options are to get the EyeTV HDHomeRun which delivers the TV stream over ethernet, or, to get the EyeTV 500 which delivers the TV stream through firewire. One thing to note is that the EyeTV 200 and 500 do not need an AC adapter, they can be powered through the firewire port.

Also, if you're dead set on getting a USB device, consider getting the Hauppauge WinTV HVR-950. It's the exact same unit as the EyeTV Hybrid except that it comes with a portable antenna, while the Hybrid comes with component breakout cable instead of the antenna. You can find these new on the Internet for around $65, and you can find them used on eBay or Craig's List for around $50. You can then buy the EyeTV software directly from Elgato for $80.

One more thing while I'm at it. If you want to record a show while also watching or surfing in another window, then you'll need two streams coming into your computer. Therefore, you'd need to buy two devices. (The HDHomeRun is an exception because it has two independent inputs on the unit.) Beware of the EyeTV 500, it also appears to have two inputs. However, one of them is for digital antenna while the other is for digital cable, and only one of them can be used at a time.
post #18 of 24
Speaking of TV Tuners, has anyone seen todays Woot?

Pinnacle Woot TV PCTV HD Pro Stick
$69.99

Has anyone used this, and would it be worth it?
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuencap View Post

Speaking of TV Tuners, has anyone seen todays Woot?

Pinnacle Woot TV PCTV HD Pro Stick
$69.99

Has anyone used this, and would it be worth it?

Never heard of Pinnacle but if you want something with EyeTV, there's this for $59 at OWC:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ElGato/10020211R/
post #20 of 24
The EyeTV EZ mentioned above accepts only analog input and not digital, so if you want digital HDTV, get the Hybrid/HVR-950. However, if this comes with EyeTV 2.0 software, then it would be worth the purchase just for this.

I have both the Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick and the Hauppauge WinTV HVR-950, both work equally well and work fine with the EyeTV software. The only significant difference is that the Pinnacle unit comes with a remote control. The remote also works with the Hauppauge HVR-950 when that's the active window.
post #21 of 24
future you need usb 2.0. if you have a powermac you can get a usb 2.0 pci card for under 10 bucks, any with an NEC chipset work

i have a hauppauge hvr-950 ...works great but with an older mac you wont be able to get full 1080i playback w/out stuttering. only drawback is no clear QAM

the pinnacle hd pro is the exact same as the eyetv hybrid. i would get whichever is cheapest, in fact most of the usb ones should work fine
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post #22 of 24
After I bought my first iMac I planned to demote my PC to a DVR. I purchased the SnapStream & Silicondust package - HDHomeRun and BeyondTV software for the PC, but BeyondTV software locks up constantly. Then I bought Vista Ultimate Media Center but kept running into Vista restrictions. So, I got the software-only download of EyeTV 2.5.1 to load on the aluminum iMac to work with the HDHomeRun box, but when going through the initial setup it says: "No hardware is available which supports the TV standards of the selected country." I tried the EyeTV tuner choices of "Elgato - HDHomeRun" and I tried "Network/IPTV - HDHomeRun". The country choice is USA. I know the HDHomeRun box works because from the PC I can open the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Viewer and watch all of the channels. Does anyone know how I can get the Mac EyeTv software to see the HDHomeRun box? Is there a Mac HDHomeRun driver that has to be loaded first for the current EyeTV software to see it? Thanks.
post #23 of 24
I had the HDHomeRun also. Nothing special was needed, I just connected it to my router and EyeTV found it after going through the setup dialog. Contact Elgato if you're still having problems.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fixmdude View Post

After I bought my first iMac I planned to demote my PC to a DVR. I purchased the SnapStream & Silicondust package - HDHomeRun and BeyondTV software for the PC, but BeyondTV software locks up constantly. Then I bought Vista Ultimate Media Center but kept running into Vista restrictions. So, I got the software-only download of EyeTV 2.5.1 to load on the aluminum iMac to work with the HDHomeRun box, but when going through the initial setup it says: "No hardware is available which supports the TV standards of the selected country." I tried the EyeTV tuner choices of "Elgato - HDHomeRun" and I tried "Network/IPTV - HDHomeRun". The country choice is USA. I know the HDHomeRun box works because from the PC I can open the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Viewer and watch all of the channels. Does anyone know how I can get the Mac EyeTv software to see the HDHomeRun box? Is there a Mac HDHomeRun driver that has to be loaded first for the current EyeTV software to see it? Thanks.

I was able to fix this by making a number of changes to the iMac's network config. I'm not sure which one did it because I changed them all at once: 1) Disabled TCP/IP v.6 so only v.4 was enabled. 2) Reduced the IP range from a class B to a class C. 3) Added a WINS server address and a Workgroup name to the iMac network config (this is most likely what did it). After saving those changes the EyeTV setup was able to find the HDHomeRun as evidenced by the automatic displaying of the HDHomeRun's network name as an available tuner. Thanks.
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