EyeTV Mobile

I have been a fan of Elgato’s EyeTV devices for years now. They make it very easy to watch, record and edit TV on a Mac. My iMac with an Elgato EyeTV device replaced my video recorder years ago and as a result I never bought anything like a DVD recorder or similar. I use to use the excellent EyeHome to stream recorded video content to my TV, however the PSU failed and the software was never updated, so in the end I needed an alternative.

I now use two options, I encode the recordings for iPad, EyeTV then adds it to iTunes, I can then stream it through the Apple TV. Using Elgato’s h.264 Turbo HD hardware and software the conversion process is quite quick. My second option is to use the EyeTV app on the iPhone or the iPad that can access live TV and my recordings from the iMac. I can then either watch these on the iPad or using AirPlay put it on the TV through the Apple TV.

Of course all these options for using the iPad really depend on either, being at home, or using a wifi connection. If you don’t have wifi or have poor 3G (and a data limit) watching TV on the iPad.

I did quite like the idea behind the Tivizen EyeTV device.

Elgato’s powerful Tivizen device is small enough to slip into your pocket and take anywhere you go. Tivizen transmits the TV signal over to your iPad, iPhone, Mac, or PC wirelessly by joining your home Wi-Fi network or, when that is not available, by creating its own Wi-Fi hotspot. It has a small extendable antenna that receives the DTT (Freeview, or DVB-T) signal.

What did put me off was the fact that it was another battery powered device that would require charging.

It would appear that Elgato probably understand that kind of thinking as they are about to release a new EyeTV device for the iPad 2, the EyeTV Mobile.

EyeTV Mobile is made specifically for your iPad 2. Simply connect it to the dock connector and open the EyeTV Mobile app (available on the App Store). The television signal comes straight from the miniature telescopic aerial so you don’t need an internet connection. You get unlimited live TV on your iPad 2 without touching your data plan.

Using the special EyeTV Mobile App you plug the device into the dock connector and are able to watch live TV, under the assumption that you can pick up a signal using the miniature aerial. I will say previous attempts to use the included miniature aerials that came with previous EyeTV devices I have bought have generally not been much of a success. I am not that confident that with this aerial it will work as advertised… but I guess where you are will make a difference.

There is another assumption about this device and that is, well it is for me, that you watch a fair bit of live TV. To be honest I don’t watch much live TV. I think I am more interested about how this will work than whether it will allow me to watch live TV on my iPad.

EyeTV Netstream Sat

Elgato have announced  a new version of their Netstream device, the EyeTV Netstream Sat. This allows you to stream, watch and record free-to-view satellite television on any Mac or PC in the house, in full HD. If your home has an existing Wi-Fi network, you can watch live satellite TV wirelessly on a portable computer anywhere in your home or garden.

If you live in the UK then it can access the Freesat signal allowing you to access Freeview and Freeview HD channels available on Freesat.

I do quite like the fact that

  • Stream live TV over the home network to an iPad – even when your computers are turned off

At the moment I need to leave the iMac on to do this. Now I don’t actually have satellite, so would need to use the EyeTV Netstream DTT instead. However as that does not support Freeview HD and so I have decided at £230 it is more of  a luxury than essential, so I don’t mind going downstairs to turn the iMac on to watch TV on the iPad or via the Mac mini on the TV.

Hopefully one day Elgato will bring out a device that supports Freeview HD

turbo.264 HD

turbo.264 HD

The more I use the turbo.264 HD the more I wonder how I coped before I got it. The speed at which it encodes EyeTV recordings is impressive. So fast that when I check, more often then not I find it has finished.

Another feature that I like is how it encodes video for the iPhone EyeTV application for live TV. The Elgato EyeTV application for the iPhone as well as accessing recordings from your Mac, will also allow you to watch live TV on your iPhone. When you have the turbo.264 HD is attached to the Mac, it does the encoding, so ensures that buffering is reduced and quality maintained.

I am still impressed with the turbo.264 HD and recommend it.

Update: the Mac App Store has the Turbo.264 HD software that works without the dongle, of course it is slower.

Going HD

Though I do like HD pictures it has taken me some time to go HD.

In the early days there was the “battle” between HD-DVD and Blu Ray and though in the early days it looked like HD-DVD would win, my preference was for Blu Ray, so I decided to wait and as well all know now, Blu Ray won. Though with the availability of HD content via services such as iTunes, maybe physical media won’t be here much longer… well it might be in my house as my broadband connection is not the fastest in the world!

So without any kind of HD player, why should I bother buying an HD TV so I didn’t…

Then along came Sky HD… this meant that I could watch HD TV if I wanted to… however I didn’t fancy paying large amounts of money every month to Sky for the odd HD programme.

Freesat promised HD without the monthly contract, but I would still need a dish on the side of the house and to be honest they are very ugly  and I didn’t see much on Freesat that I couldn’t see on Freeview that I would want to watch. Too much work really to go HD via Freesat.

This week sees me getting a Sony Bravia HD 1080p TV.

So why have I gone HD?

Well Freeview HD has been switched on in my area. Yes it is only three HD channels, but they should be picked up by my aerial, so no dish.

Combine that with the Blu Ray player I got for Christmas to replace my aging DVD player, I am almost ready to watch HD.

I will probably (finally) get an Apple TV too, so that I can watch content from my iTunes collection on the new TV.

All I need now is for Elgato to releaves a Freeview HD adapter.

EyeHome is ALIVE!

The EyeHome is ALIVE! Working again after a few months now without it.

The main issue was a dead power supply. I couldn’t find a spare. In the end I found that the PSP charger, which is also 5V fitted and worked.

Initially I had an issue with finding the 10.5 Mac but after changing the IP address on the Mac it did work.

As I now have an 802.11n Ethernet bridge under the TV the streaming worked really well. No buffeting or stuttering.

Now need to get the EyeHome software running on 10.6 that looks a little more complicated.