Lunapark reviews the EyeTV Hybrid, and concludes: “If you own a Mac Mini and have it in your living room, the EyeTV Hybrid is something you should run out to buy immediately (I mean right now). For MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro owners – if want your tv fix on the Mac or you want an easy way to transfer television shows to your ipod, EyeTV Hybrid is a great choice. Personally I love the EyeTV Hybrid and would enthusiastically recommend it without any hesitation.”
Turn Your Mac Into a HD PVR with EyeTV Hybrid
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2006-10-02 8:11 pmrayiner
It depends on whether you’re watching analog or digital TV. For analog TV, the CPU usage will be substantial, since the software has to compress the data stream on the fly. For digital TV, the signal on the air (or in the wire) is already compressed via MPEG2, so recording to that format will incur little overhead.
I get similar capability by connecting my Comcast cable box to my mini with a FireWire cable and then use an app from Apple’s free FireWire SDK to record. There is no integrated channel or media browser, but I usually know what I want to record anyways.
Personnally I want to be able to hook up my iMac so it acts like a TV for DirecTV TiVo. Does anyone know how to do that? Even better if it can transmit to my iMac wirelessly.
“With the included EyeTV software you now have a full fledged PVR that is comparable to Tivo, Window Media Center or MythTV.”
Caparable to TiVo? I don’t think so. TiVo lite maybe but not compareable to TiVo. At least not to anyone that has ever used TiVo.
2006-10-02 11:35 pmerak
Of course it’s comparable to TiVo. TiVo has more functions, yes, but different people want different things. If someone really want their mac connected to the TV then maybe that weighs more than those extra functions.
Not sure if other people realize, but the CEO of Elgato (EyeTV) is now the Managing Director of Apple Germany.
I honestly don’t think that’s a coincidence.
I see Apple joining with them to really integrate this stuff into their Mac Minis or their now new Code: iTV stuff.
Would be a great partnership and really fit into a great market.
Edited 2006-10-02 23:38
TiVo has more functions, yes
I would argue that in most cases we (the rest of us, of course) need fewer functions, but stronger user friendliness for those functions we normally use. We also need less idiotity in our off-work hours.
I have yet never arrived to a home where the clock on that home’s VCR says anything else than 0:00 – now why could that be ? . . . Plus 5 remote control sets on the coffee table . . and still 4 out of 5 unable to switch channels on that VCR that connects to the flat-TV-box via top_set_box that again connects via scart to . . . . sorry . . but I really can’t remember the rest . . . hmpf . . . which one is it ?
As a matter of fact I also hate my GSM telephone. It will be crushed under the shining timber cutting axe at the very same moment anything better arrives. Axe is a great tool, it just works!
2006-10-03 3:17 amaesiamun
And that’s why we’ve gone and created Macro or Action based remote controls like Sony’s or Logitech’s solutions. I bought a Logitech Harmony to replace the 6 remotes that I have and i haven’t looked back.
…then I might want to record some of it.
Who still watches TV anyway? (Seriously!)
2006-10-03 5:21 amrayiner
There’s some good TV out there, depending on your tastes. ‘Battlestar Galactica’, for example, is worth subscribing to cable for. ‘Stargate’ is quite watchable. ‘Eureka’ shows a lot of promise. ’24’ is good, as is ‘House’ and ‘Boston Legal’. ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ is great. ‘Family Guy’ is normally great, though it’s been off lately. I must say ‘Desperate Housewives’ is also worth watching, for the sole reason that it has extremely well-written dialogue. If you’re open-minded, so is ‘Gilmore Girls’, for the same reason. The ‘Daily Show’ continues to be funny, and if you’re not into any of these, you can always watch the BBC!
There really is good TV out there to watch, for a wide range of tastes. I myself am looking forward to getting an EyeTV for my Macbook, since I don’t have a TV right now either.
EyeTV looks very good but it’s not working very well with Front Row, I would like to get it integrated with Front Row as some kind of plug-in, when new TV icons appears on Front Row screen, that would simply rock!
>you should run out to buy immediately (I mean right now)
wow, maybe if i just go buy it and figure out the TV program guide only works in USA, or does the author think everyone is living in USA who reads osnews?
and author still thinks its comparable to Windows MCE? by a long shot, i dont think so, at least in terms of localization including language and local tv program guide.
and i wonder if this little device even does a good 30min -> 2gb hardware compressions on the fly as it does when using Windows MCE. since the review doesnt even tell about what kind of file gets output from the record, i cant tell.
hardware encoding tuner + win mce costs like only 200 US dollars, and once again since the review doesnt even tell how much it costs, i cant really tell but i would say ‘comparable’ if that device is lower than $50.
and i dont think this lets other client in another room to access the feature like xbox does against win mce.
so… nice exageration, unless more facts are given.
2006-10-03 4:17 pmrayiner
The thing costs $150. What product are you looking at that does both ATSC and NTSC, includes hardware encoding, and is cheap enough to afford with WinMCE for $200?
I didn’t see any mention of scheduling. Can this device schedule recordings ahead of time, if it can’t this is useless.
“you should run out to buy immediately…” it is a bit overreacting imho… 🙂 it is nice but again… I would rather wait until Apple’s own solution is out… which is coming soon I am sure… 🙂
What would the performance cost be of running a PVR app on a Mac fulltime? If you want to play a game, or do some other cpu- or disk-intensive task with a Mini acting as a PVR, will either function be reduced?