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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Some basic EyeTV questions


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CaptSaltyJack

 
Member Since: Apr 15, 2007
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Ok, help me understand how this thing works and what it will support.

I have Comcast service. I have their digital service, so I get the analog local channels, I get digital channels like HBO, Discovery Channel, all those, BUT I don't get the HDTV versions of those channels (extra fee for that). I believe I might get some free local channels in HDTV format.

Now, my Comcast set top box just has a coax cable out that you run into your TV. Currently, I have an HP laptop running Media Center. The tuner card is plugged into the laptop, and the Comcast box has a coax cable running into the tuner card. The USB remote IR receiver is plugged into the laptop, AND has a wire running from that to a little IR transmitter (IR blaster) stuck to the Comcast box. This way, when I use the HP remote, it sends channel change signals direct to the Comcast box.

I've been told that this setup I have does not support HDTV, and it doesn't even support "digital" cable! In other words, all those movie channels that should be in fairly crisp digital format are showing up in analog on my laptop.

I've entertained thoughts of ditching my HP laptop and getting a MacBook Pro, and getting the EyeTV Hybrid. I'm just not sure what it will do for me format wise. Can I plug my Comcast set top box (coax) into this thing? How will the EyeTV send channel change signals to the Comcast box? Will I get "digital" TV? What if I upgrade to Comcast HDTV? There's component cables coming out of that box.. how come EyeTV doesn't come with a breakout cable for component video?? (this seems like kind of a shocker to me)

Thanks for any help, I appreciate it.
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Aptmunich

 
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I think you need a PC with Cablecard support to watch or record digital HD cable on a computer and so far cablecard support has been very slow in coming...
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CaptSaltyJack

 
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Gotcha.

Now what about just basic digital cable? I forget the technical term for it. Will EyeTV do that for me?

Also, how does EyeTV change channels on my Comcast set top box?
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bobtomay

 
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At this time there is no way, whether on Mac, Windows nor any version of Linux to get HD signals (at least not still in their HD form) from any device into a computer. The technology is there, but the manufacturer doesn't exist (as of yet) that is willing to be the first to put out a device that will accept component or HDMI input to a computer.

The only HD you will get into a computer is your local over-the-air (aka ota or o-t-a) tv stations from a regular antenna via a digital tuner.
Your setup, if indeed it does not support HD, which is likely, is due to the TV tuner you have being an analog only tuner. There are tuners made that function with all 3 of the primary OS's for receiving digital ota stations.

For Mac, the best reviewed and most used is the ElGato EyeTV Hybrid. This will give you the ability to watch and record your local ota digital channels (both HD and SD).

The best connection you will get to a computer from a HD source to a computer will be via s-video. Believe it or not, unless you're just not satisfied with anything but the best, it gives a pretty decent picture. I have my HD DishNetwork receiver connected to my XP machine via s-video and direct to the monitor via component. So I can flip back and forth on the TV between the component HD signal and the s-video being fed to my computer. There is a difference between the 2, and I could be picky, but it is still very watchable for HD shows that I am wanting to record.

On the remote, have never setup one as you have there. Don't really see the point in the IR blaster unless that is the way your particular tuner card functions. Why not just use the remote for the comcast box? Most tuners will work similar to TV's. Set it on channel 3 or 4 if you are using the coax input and use the remote for the cable/satellite box to change channels. The same if you are using s-video input, still would just use the remote for the cable box.

There is at this time either a software or hardware (don't remember and was too lazy to do the search for it right now) that will allow you to take saved shows direct from a Tivo unit and move them to your computer.

edit: have had either DirecTV or DishNetwork and therefore digital service for a long time, so my experience with comcast or any other cable service for TV is severly lacking. Can't see giving them the same money for fewer channels and for service that is not all digital.

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CaptSaltyJack

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
On the remote, have never setup one as you have there. Don't really see the point in the IR blaster unless that is the way your particular tuner card functions. Why not just use the remote for the comcast box? Most tuners will work similar to TV's. Set it on channel 3 or 4 if you are using the coax input and use the remote for the cable/satellite box to change channels. The same if you are using s-video input, still would just use the remote for the cable box.
The IR blaster is required if I want to record shows while I'm not home.
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bobtomay

 
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OK, like the old VCR IR devices. There may be a way to do that, but I have not checked into it. Typically am only using my computer to record the shows that I want to burn to DVD (mainly old westerns and such) or I already have 2 shows set to record at that specific time on my HD receiver. For me to set a timer, I have to change the channel on the box to the channel I want recorded before I leave the house. Have not done that much yet with my EyeTV, but think it would be the same. So without some device like you have, there would be no way to set a timer to record 2 shows on different stations from the cable box. This of course would not be an issue when recording from the ota stations.

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bobtomay

 
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Just installed a new EyeTV update.
Upon reading the readme file (duh) found it does support the channel change function you have now, but does require a 3rd party 'blaster' hardware. They even provide the links of a couple they have found to work.

What I can tell you about recording HiDef content from a device such as your cable box - any widescreen content will record as widescreen, but inside a 4:3 standard screen format. It is not much of a problem if you have the proper zoom capability on the TV you wish to watch it on. Have not had any issues recording SD (standard definition - typically 480i or p content).

Your local ota HD content from an antenna will record in HD.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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