Firmware Updates For HDHomeRun

HomeRunHD owners: SiliconDust's forum links to current and beta Firmware updates and downloads for the ethernet connected HDHR-US HD HomeRun dual-digital ATSC-QAM tuner box.

EyeTV+Front Row Integration via PyeTV


A great little Plug-In to integrate ElGato's EyeTV with Apple's FrontRow media software and Apple Remote - PYETV version 1.2 - was recently updated at the Google Code site. Version 1.2 is compatible only with Leopard OS X 10.5. (For those running 10.4 Tiger, an older version of the PyeTV Front Row plugin is still available.) Though many users are current and using EyeTV v3, this plug-in seems to work fine with Eye TV version 2x as well.

Equinux "LIVE TV" iPhone Video Streaming

A December press release talks-up the soon-to-be-available new iPhone app "Live TV" takes Equinux's TubeStick and TheTube software to the next level of innovation. The free iPhone app "Live TV", is designed to let you watch live TV on your iPhone over your local WiFi netowrk. "Live TV" will show the TV channels The Tube receives on your computer. The Live TV interface let's the user choose and watch available channels directly on their iPhone.

Combined with recent price-cuts to the TubeStick Hybrid TV Tuner for Mac and PC, Equinux is proving to be a worthy and aggressive competitor against ElGato and it's EyeTV line. And more choice for Mac TV lovers is a good thing. On Tues Dec 23 - an updated The Tube software v2.9.1 was released and is now available for download at http://www.equinux.com

Hauppauge's Latest DVR Lineup Needs Mac Support

happauge PVR
Model 1212

HAUPPAUGE HD PVR


PC using HTPC enthusiasts are finding Hauppauge's long-awaited Model1212 HD-PVR High Definition Personal Video Recorder to be a godsend for connecting to and capturing content from their Set-Top box. For cable users on PC's it was the MISSING PIECE they were waiting for. For Mac users - the real question is If/When/Ever EyeTV or other's might be able to support the HDPVR's functionality in OS X.

"HD PVR is the world’s first High-Definition video recorder for making real-time H.264 compressed recordings at resolutions up to 1080i.  HD-PVR records component video (YCrCb) from cable TV and satellite set top boxes, with a built-in IR blaster to automatically change TV channels for scheduled recordings. Audio is recorded using AAC or Dolby Digital. The recording format is AVCHDr. The HD PVRs amazing recording quality allows personal archival of your favorite high definition TV programs from any component video HD set top box. The HD PVR also has standard definition composite and S-Video inputs so you can record your old home video tapes into an AVCHD format for creating Blu-ray DVD recordings."

hauppauge winTV 1080i PVR
Around the same time, Hauppage also introduced a new box: the Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1950 External USB HDTV Tuner/Video Recorder Model 1192. (Somewhat like an Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus Digital/Analog TV Receiver and Video Converter - but with IR Blaster) I predict we'll see support for the HVR-1950 in a future revision of EyeTV 3 soon. But the HD PVR is a totally different beast - and perhaps more challenging for ElGato to support. Time will tell - perhaps at MacWorld Expo 2009 ElGato will reveal what's up their sleeve? Hmmm?

ElGato Site Drops HD HomeRun

dual ATSC QAM Ethernet TV for Mac
Interesting change recently as ElGato's North American website: They dropped the rebranded Dual Digital/ATSC HomeRunHD ethernet networked based OEM tuner made by SiliconDust from their current products page. ElGato's US-North American site now lists only the EyeTV Hybrid and the 250+ models.

For a time, El Gato repackaged and sold the SiliconDust HDHR-US HDHomeRun Networked Digital TV Tuner. They added support for the unique, Dual ATSC and QAM digital device in later versions of EyeTV 2 - and continue support in the updated EyeTV 3. So perhaps ElGato is simply focusing on profitably selling EyeTV3 software at full $79.95 retail to HomeRun purchasers. Bundled or not -- It's a winning combination allowing multiple Macs to view and record TV - or to watch one station while recording another.

In a way the unbundling doesn't matter since ElGato is ultimately a World-Class software company with an award-winning TV application. What hardware it runs on is somewhat secondary. And the HomeRun is readily available elsewhere - and enjoys wide support on both the Mac and Windows PC platforms:

The HDHomeRun works with the following Software:
Windows Media Center:
MCE 2005 32-bit
MCE 2005 64-bit
Vista MCE 32-bit
Vista MCE 64-bit
SageTV - HTPC software for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Home Server, Mac & Linux
SnapStream BeyondTV - DVR for Windows
Elgato EyeTV - DVR for Mac
MythTV - DVR for Linux
MediaPortal - DVR for Windows
GB-PVR - DVR for Windows
VLC - Multi-platform media viewer
TSReader - MPEG-2 transport stream analysis

Consolidaton in PC and Mac TV Tuner Market

Caught this recent press-release a month late: But it's important - affecting two of the largest 3rd-party television tuner suppliers for the Apple OS X DVR marketplace. (Both of whom are allied with ElGato and provide EyeTV Lite with their Mac-specific tuner bundles.)

"October 27th, 2008
Hauppauge Digital Inc. announced it has agreed, through a subsidiary, to purchase the Pinnacle PCTV product line and related assets from Avid Technology and certain affiliates.


“Avid’s PCTV products have become one of the most popular TV tuner consumer product lines throughout the world,” said Ken Plotkin, President and CEO of Hauppauge. “With both the Hauppauge WinTV and Avid PCTV product families, Hauppauge will now be able to offer our customers an expanded set of TV products for personal computers, from entry level TV tuner products for laptop computers to high end embedded TV receivers used by leading PC OEMs.”

Hauppauge intends to work closely with Avid during the 2008 Holiday season to ensure a smooth transition of the Pinnacle Windows PC and Apple Macintosh TV product line for Avid’s distribution partners and consumers. Following the closing of the transaction, Hauppauge expects to continue developing and supporting both the PC-Mac TV and WinTV product lines.

Hauppauge Digital, Inc. is a leading developer of analog and digital TV receiver products for the personal computer market. Through its Hauppauge Computer Works, Inc. and Hauppauge Digital Europe Sarl subsidiaries, the Company designs and develops analog and digital TV receivers that allow PC users to watch television on their computer screen in a resizable window and enable the recording of TV shows to a hard disk, digital video editing, video conferencing, receiving of digital TV transmissions, and the display of digital media stored on a computer to a TV set via a home network."

EyeTV vs TubeStick vs Hauppauge vs ElGato vs Pinnacle vs Equinux

With the transition towards All-Digital television reception, choosing the right TV tuner for your Apple OSX setup isn't easy. Over the air Analog antenna reception has a clear Feb. 2009 cutoff date. But it's Cable and Satellite that may stay SD-Standard Definition Analog for a few more years - and may NOT be switching to All-Digital depending on each providers rollout plans and if and what you're willing to pay for HD Digital signals or not.

For the majority receiving cable: Clearly a Hybrid Clear QAM Enabled Digital Tuner is the only smart choice to at least receive whatever unencrypted HD content your provider may be sending. No PC/Mac tuners can support a given providers Encrypted/Pay-For Premium Channels - that's all handled by your Set-Top box - and whether that allows pass-through or downsampled lower-quality signals to be sent to a computer tuner stick depends on the box.

For HTPC enthusiasts, the ethernet based HomeRun HD connected to your router/hub allows 2 users on the network to watch whatever Digital content they want. The dual-QAM TV-tuners inside the HomeRun also allow a single viewer to enjoy PIP - Picture In A Picture, or two-channel viewing/recording in EyeTV 3. This flexibility appeals most to those looking for an All-Digital, high-end Mac TV watching solution.

For those strictly expecting ATSC antenna reception: ANY tuner with Digital capabilities, even last-year's or a non-QAM discontinued model can serve them well for years to come - since Clear QAM only applies to Cable (and rarely) Satellite reception.