Elgato products to build a Mac DVR question

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Nelson Au, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Mar 16, 1999
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    I hope there are some Mac users here. I'm looking at building a HTMac.

    I am looking into some products from Elgato. They produce the EyeTV software and some hardware that have a reciever and allows you to record TV onto the Mac's harddrive. I'd like to set this up for the new TV season.

    I am looking at the eyeTV 250 that has a builtin encoder that converts to M-Peg. From what I read, this method produces better video results. But this product only does analog TV.

    The other product, eyeTV Hybrid can recieve analog and digital TV. I would like to try to record digital TV, so this one seems to be the better choice. The Elgato FAQ say that this product uses the Mac's processor to do the video conversion rather then on-board the device like the eyeTV 250 above. But a newer faster Mac can handle the higher quality video needs. I'll use a one year G5 dual processor at first and eventually possible use a Mac Mini in the actual HT area.

    Any comments, advise or recommendations?

    Thanks, Nelson
  2. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

    Aug 17, 2000
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    Hi Nelson,

    First -- I hate to point you away from HTF, but AVS has a dedicated Mac HTPC forum with many knowledgeable users.

    To answer your question as best I can -- the EyeTV devices for digital TV require very little processing power for recording -- they are simply dumping the incoming MPEG2 stream to disk. It is playback of HD that eats CPU, though a dual G5 should be sufficient.

    For digital recording, aside from the EyeTV hybrid, you can get a refurbished EyeTV 500 from the Elgato website. The advantage of the 500 is that you can not only record Over The Air HDTV, but you can record clear QAM from cable as well, which the Hybrid can not.


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