Hmm, would the EyeTV 410 make a difference?

On my  G4 Mac mini which I am using as a media centre under my television I have an EyeTV USB Freeview device for watching, pausing, rewinding and of course recording live television. I have been having a few issues with the quality of the recordings and viewing live television in terms of interference, but also when watching if a live TV window is open. I suspect that part of the problem is the speed of the G4 which is rather slow for a Mac and it only has 512MB of RAM.

I am wondering if I use the EyeTV 410 which is connected to my iMac whether that would make a difference? Whereas the EyeTV USB device is dependent a lot on the Mac for processing the video, the Firewire 410 device has a hardware encoder which in theory takes a lot of the load of video processing off the Mac.

I might give it a go and see how it works out, but will leave it till later as the iMac is going to record the final episode of Robin Hood tonight on BBC One.

Interference Issues

I have started using a Mac mini under my TV in (another) experiment in using it as a media centre.

Apart from the fact it seems rather noisy (for a Mac, but a lot less noisy then the Windows Media Centers I have tried) the main problem I my having with my Mac mini is with the USB Freeview EyeTV device attached to it, and it isn’t a problem with the EyeTV software nor is it an issue with the USB device, the problem appears to be an interference issue with  the aerial which causes interference on some of the digital TV (Freeview) multiplexes.

I have moved the aerial cable which can resolve the issue, but I think I may need to replace the cable with a shielded cable. I have changed cables and not been able to see a difference which makes me think that the EyeTV USB device I have is suspectible to interference, whilst my TV or the EyeTV 410 Firewire device are not affected to the same degree. It’s not too bad if I am recording or watching a programme from the BBC multiplex, but the ITV multiplex is particularly bad.

Hopefully will get it sorted soon with a shielded cable. Next will be some kind of remote, at the moment I am using VNC and Apple Remote Desktop, which works, but is not very portable.

Upgraded the Mac mini

I have just upgraded my G4 Mac mini to Leopard. I am intending to use it as a media centre under my television.

The upgrade went fine, and EyeTV 2.5.1 seems to work just fine under Leopard.

I am running it (currently) without a keyboard or a mouse and of course being a G4 Mac mini it does not have an Apple remote.

I do have an EyeTV remote, so when watching TV, I can use that.

In the meantime, I am using VNC and screensharing to control the Mac mini and will be using either my PowerBook or an UMPC to do the controlling.

It’s connected to my Airport Extreme (802.11n) by ethernet, so the fact that it has only 802.11g won’t be too much of an issue.

I have an (old) CRT Sony television, so I am using s-video to connect the Mac mini to it, so screen resolution is quite poor, but for video and images it seems to work fine.

Mac mini

If this works out, I will probably replace it with a newer and faster Intel Mac mini. This one only had 512MB of RAM, and I would prefer at least 1GB or more.

I will write more, as we see how it works out.

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to provide a joint on-demand service

There is Channel 4’s 4oD service, BBC’s iPlayer, now we have plans for a new on-demand service for television.


The BBC is reporting how the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are going to work together to provide a new on-demand service for viewers.

The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are to launch a joint on-demand service, which will bring together hundreds of hours of television programmes in one place.

The service is set to go live in 2008 and will offer viewers access to current shows and archive material.

Read more.

Photo source.

Robin Hood back on TV

The second series of Robin Hood started on BBC One on Saturday.

Anyone see it?