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.

Pinnacle's New Digital Mac HDTV mini Tuner Stick

pinnacle HD stick for Apple Mac
Finally, Pinnacle Micro’s ultra-compact all-digital TV for Mac HD Mini Stick has become available at Amazon.com - boasting the smallest form factor of any USB computer television tuner card to date, special signal-boosting technology, and bundled with the latest version of EyeTV Light v1.1 from ElGato. A new generation of OSX TV hardware - with the best DVR viewing and recording software out there. Looks like a winning combination!

The Tube 2.8.1 Update


Equinux followed up with another quick .1 update to TheTube Macintosh DVR software for the TubeStick Hybrid TV Tuner compatible with both Apple's Mac OS X and Windows Media Center Edition PCs. Now at version 2.8.1 - they did a few recording and audio issue fixes. Good to see Equinux really keeping up and trying -- slugging it out in the Apple tuner market with EyeTV is a tough arena to compete in, doncha know...

Supported Devices In ElGato's EyeTV v3

EyeTV 3 Compatible Devices List
(Most Of Those Listed Are NTSC ATSC Tuners For North American Markets. This is only a partial list since this site doesn’t intend to address International markets nor TV standards/tuners for those markets)

ELGATO:
EyeTV USB EyeTV 200 EyeTV 250 EyeTV 250 Plus EyeTV 300/310 EyeTV 400/410 EyeTV 500 EyeTV 610 EyeTV Diversity EyeTV EZ EyeTV Wonder USB 2.0 EyeTV Hybrid HD HomeRun

HAUPPAUGE:
WinTV-HVR-900 WinTV-HVR-950

MIGLIA:
Evolution TV TVBook Pro TVDuo TVMax TVMicro TVMini TVMini HD

ATI:
ATI Wonder USB 2.0

PINNACLE:
* USB HD mini Stick 80e (Still in progress: a v3.0.x BETA is available, see below) TV for Mac HD Stick 800e TV for Mac Hybrid Stick 330e PCTV Hybrid Pro Stick PCTV Hybrid Pro Stick 330e PCTV USB Stick PCTV HD Pro Stick 800e

PLEXTOR: PX-402U

SILICON DUST: HDHomeRun * The latest version of the full EyeTV software is 3.0.3 and does not yet have support for the Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini stick (80e). Such support is coming in the next EyeTV release. If you already own this Pinnacle device, and you have EyeTV 3.0.3, then please use the following link to upgrade to a beta version of EyeTV that will support this stick. While EyeTV 3 is running, you can enter this URL into a web browser, that will force EyeTV to download this specific version: eyetv://checkforupdates?build=4241
This link will not work with EyeTV Lite. Requires the FULL version of EyeTV 3.

Equinux TubeStick For Mac... Or PC

Equinux, software writers of THE TUBE 2.0 TV-tuning software announced at MacWorld Expo they'd be shipping thier own Hybrid USB stick tuner - The TubeStick - for the US NTSC market. It’s compact, slimmed-down design is more friendly to crowded USB ports than many other bulkier stick-style tuners from ElGato and other 3rd parties. The Tube Stick is bundled with BOTH Mac software and Windows Media Center software drivers. TheTube software (now at version 2.7.4) is good, but not GREAT like EyeTV unfortunately. Still, Equinux has been keeping the updates coming, and offers unique and innovative program sharing features to give El Gato a good bit of competition.

Mac TV Tuner and AppleTV News

Here in this blog at www.mac-digital-tv-tuners.com we’ll track newly announced TV tuner product news for the Apple Macintosh, hardware and peripheral accessory annoucements, TV software program updates, video conversion applications, HTPC - Home Theater PC options, connecting TV and audio hardware to help you build a multimedia, computer-centric home entertainment system.