Just Bought An Elgato EyeTV 500

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Running the eyeTV 500 on a Mac mini 1.5GHz with 64MB or video RAM. The live stuff is absolutely fantastic. Haven't tried playing back recorded stuff yet.



Actually; come to think of it, in testing out the replay button where it jumps back 7 seconds or 20 seconds or... whatever it is, that too also played back quite smoothly. Not sure how that differs from playing back h.264 or MPEG4 but it seemed to work quite smoothly on my lowly 1.5GHz G4 home machine.



As I understand it though, I guess it is supposed to be impossible to play back full HD resolution on the Mac mini. Although, I'll say it again, in receiving PBS in full 1920 by whatever, it was nice and smoooooooth.



Now to send out the rebate for my $50.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    I'm guessing you don't have a 1920x1080 screen. Than you would notice the framedrops.



    But yea, the min req's of a dual G5 are for those freak'in huge streams, not really the smaller 1280x768 versions.



    (BTW, do you also get all 5 PBS stations?)
  • Reply 2 of 9
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ebby

    I'm guessing you don't have a 1920x1080 screen. Than you would notice the framedrops.



    But yea, the min req's of a dual G5 are for those freak'in huge streams, not really the smaller 1280x768 versions.



    (BTW, do you also get all 5 PBS stations?)




    Actually, I have Apple's 23 Cinema display (1920x1200) ? no framedrops; I can hit command-3 (Full Size in the View Menu) and the display covers the full screen with the exception of just a sliver on each side ( my guess is it's 10 pixels on each side that has the desktop showing through, which would be about 1900 pixels across. Is full HD resolution at 1900 or 1920? If it's 1920 I have no idea why there is still a sliver on each side that doesn't have the video covering the desktop. 'Course, I can just hit command-0 to enter Full Screen View to get rid of the desktop). If you are asking about the seperate UHF bands, yes I get all 5. But those aren't full HD resolution, at least not during the times that I have checked.



    In trying now, I see that with Photoshop open and 5 or 6, 5-10MB images opened in the session and one 5MB image currently open with a substantial history, QuickTime, Delicious Library, Safari, Mail, FontExplorer X, TextEdit, SubEthaEdit and iTunes I do notice dropped frames. BUT, if its a fresh restart and just a few open apps (like Safari and Mail), nice and smooth.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    I think the catch will come when I replay the stuff and the machine has to decode the MPEG4. It will probably choke on that. My guess is that there is no decoding happening when you are watching it live. ?? I'll have to do some more checking though.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Well, I'm surprised. I would have though a mini would have more problems with HDTV. Must have a bunch of RAM in that machine. (Different from Video RAM)



    As for the encoding, all ATSC (at least now) is broadcast using MPEG2. EyeTV used a software decoder instead of a hardware-based decoder so CPU usage is much higher and speed is important.



    The PBS stations break one HDTV stream into 4 chunks, and the other is real HDTV. You can watch all 4 smaller stations at once by holding down Option and selecting Open Live TV window multiple times. (Only works on stations that have -2 after the channel. 2-1, 2-2... 9-1, 9-2, 9-3...)



    EyeTV will actually crop a few pixels off the picture to hide closed captioning and junk. You can turn this off under View->Display Options->Overscan OFF

    This will give you the true 1920.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rongold

    I think the catch will come when I replay the stuff and the machine has to decode the MPEG4. It will probably choke on that.



    I guess so. The mini just has not the power to decode movies at such a high resolution. Even the latest G5 iMacs cannot do that smoothly. The recommended configuration is a dual G5 2.0 GHz with at least 128 MB VRAM or better.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ebby

    EyeTV will actually crop a few pixels off the picture to hide closed captioning and junk. You can turn this off under View->Display Options->Overscan OFF

    This will give you the true 1920.




    OH! Thanks. That makes sense.



    On a related note, I just read that Elgato will be releasing version 2.0 of their eyetv software. I guess it will include stuff like "in-app programming guide with search capabilities; a new interface; ability to add a channel without a complete autoscan (nice, everytime I reposition the antenna and do an exhaustive scan in an effort to pick up another channel, I end up losing one of the others... stupid WB anyway); playlists for recorded shows, favorite channels".
  • Reply 7 of 9
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    I guess so. The mini just has not the power to decode movies at such a high resolution. Even the latest G5 iMacs cannot do that smoothly. The recommended configuration is a dual G5 2.0 GHz with at least 128 MB VRAM or better.



    It would be nice if there was something I could use to send/offload the video content to so the mini wouldn't have to - it would just be used to control it, not actually decoding it.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rongold

    ability to add a channel without a complete autoscan (nice, everytime I reposition the antenna and do an exhaustive scan in an effort to pick up another channel, I end up losing one of the others... stupid WB anyway)



    That's already in there. (Not officially)

    Open terminal and write:

    defaults write com.elgato.eyetv "remove lost services" -bool NO

    EDIT: Well, didn't work for me. I'll try again later.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by rongold

    It would be nice if there was something I could use to send/offload the video content to so the mini wouldn't have to - it would just be used to control it, not actually decoding it.



    If version 2 really is on its way, they may have included core audio/video support, which could use your graphic card to decode instead of your CPU. That way, HDTV or whatever will run perfectly on almost any hardware.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ebby

    If version 2 really is on its way, they may have included core audio/video support, which could use your graphic card to decode instead of your CPU. That way, HDTV or whatever will run perfectly on almost any hardware.



    Already released - as of a few hours ago. Really slick interface. This software is incredible. This is the way Apple would do it, maybe even better.

    I copied the new features from their website below.



    All-new, intuitive main window:

    EyeTV has a completely new, intuitive main window. If you?ve used iPhoto or iTunes, you?ll be right at home with EyeTV.



    Cool new on-screen remote control:

    The new on-screen remote control provides full playback control, channel selection, trick play, volume control etc.



    Create playlists:

    Playlists are analogous to iPhoto Albums. You can arrange your recordings according to your own criteria in a playlist. There is no limit to the number of playlists you can create.



    Create favorite channels lists:

    Arrange your channels by genre, content or other criteria in favorite channel lists. Very useful if you receive hundreds of channels.



    Integrated, searchable program guide (EPG):

    EyeTV has an integrated electronic program guide. The entire text of the guide is searchable.



    Single-click iPod® export:

    A click on the ?iPod®? button starts the export of the selected recordings to iPod® format. EyeTV uses MPEG-4 format, which is optimal for use both on an iPod?s own display, or on a TV connected to the iPod®.



    Concise preferences panel:

    The settings for all important hard and software functions are clearly and logically arranged in the redesigned Preferences dialog.\t



    Rename and copy recordings in the Finder:

    Recordings are stored in individual documents which can be renamed and copied in the Finder.



    Double-clickable EyeTV recordings:

    A double-click on an EyeTV recording document in Finder will start playback of that recording in EyeTV.



    Integrated backup (requires Toast 7):

    The ?Backup? command in the Action menu can be used to back up the complete archive or a selected set of recordings. This feature requires Roxio Toast 7 Titanium (not included in purchase.)



    ?Show in Finder? command:

    Choose ?Show in Finder? from the Action menu to select the recording in a Finder window.



    Dynamically resizable previews:

    Additional details about recordings can be shown or hidden using the slider in the main window.



    Manually add channels:

    In addition to automatic channel scanning and detection, you can of course add channels by hand.



    Sort, filter and view channel details:

    Channels can be rearranged by dragging them in their list. The filter (search) field can show or hide specific channels. EyeTV shows detailed information about each channel.



    Channel lineup download by ZIP Code (US only):

    Channels can be assigned to their TV stations and networks.



    Support for DVB and ATSC EPGs:

    If tvtv or TitanTV guide information is unavailable, EyeTV can used the DVB or ATSC guide information.



    Browse and search EPG offline:

    The EPG can be viewed and searched, and programs may be scheduled for recording, even when there is no Internet connection or TV signal present.



    Set schedules to automatically export to iPod:

    Click a single check box when scheduling a recording, and the completed recording will be automatically exported to iPod video format, after which iTunes will start and sync with your iPod.



    Add new recordings automatically to playlists:

    A scheduled recording can be assigned to a playlist ? the recording will be automatically placed in that playlist as soon as it starts.



    Action button menu for speedier editing:

    The Action menu in the editor speeds up editing, exporting, copying of clips and so on.



    ?Invert Markers? command:

    This command, in the editor?s action menu, inverts the sense of the edit markers; instead of marking a sequence, you mark the rest of the show.



    Clips saved as separate files:

    Marked clips can be saved as recordings. The new recording is saved as an independent document in the EyeTV Archive.



    Single-click to burn with Toast:

    A click on the ?Toast? button is all it takes to send the selected recordings direct to Toast. EyeTV analyzes the recording and chooses the appropriate format (VCD, SVCD, DVD). Toast immediately starts to record. (This feature requires Roxio Toast 7 Titanium).



    Batch export:

    EyeTV can export multiple recordings as a batch. It exports one recording after another.



    Extensive list of export presets and file formats:

    EyeTV offers intelligent choices of export format for further processing of recordings in applications such as iMovie, iMovie HD, iDVD or DVD Studio Pro, burning with Toast, use of shows on the iPod and so on. EyeTV analyzes the recording and chooses the optimum export format. Users can also choose their own export settings.
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