The EyeHome, it lives…

Back in October last year my EyeHome stopped working. I assumed has had happened before that the transformer had broken again.

What I did back then was ask Elgato and they replaced the transformer for me, however according to their website they can no longer provide replacements.

I was hoping to find a replacement for my EyeHome, but after having a good look around, trying even to use the PS3, in the end I decided that the only possible replacement was a Mac mini and even that was a compromise and not a real replacement.

I did try and find a replacement transformer, but though I thought I had found a potential supplier, it wasn’t clear which transformer I should buy for the EyeHome.

So for most of this year, the EyeHome was sat in the office and I waited paitently for Elgato to make a replacement…

Yesterday I started tidying  up the office and I “found” the EyeHome and started to pack it into a box when I looked at the power supply input, noticed it said 5V and started to wonder…

The PSP power supply looked like it could fit…

It does fit…

It does power the EyeHome…

It lives!!!

Pleased with the turbo.264 HD

So far I am pleased with my purchase of Elgato’s turbo.264 HD that I have been using to speed up H.264 encoding times.

Having edited some EyeTV recordings I was quite pleased by how fast the encoding was (and how it doesn’t impact significantly on the speed of the computer).

Elgato Video Capture

Having just purchased the turbo.264 HD from Elgato, checking their website I was interested to see a new product, called Video Capture.

Elgato Video Capture

Transfer video to your Mac from a VCR, DVR, camcorder, or any other analog video device as an iTunes-ready H.264 or MPEG-4 file. Elgato Video Capture’s easy-to-use software assists you through every step, from connecting an analog video source to recording the video on your Mac and choosing how you will watch and share it.

There is no easier way to transfer home video to your Mac to play in QuickTime, to sync with an iPod, iPhone or Apple TV, to edit in iMovie, or to upload to YouTube.

I have been looking for something like this from Elgato for some time. I have a couple of Pinnacle devices for capturing video, however either they capture without a preview which is fine for most things, but not all. Or it is Windows only and this means adding extra conversion time to use the captured footage with iMovie or similar.

I use to be able to do it with my original EyeTV device, however that did not capture at a sufficient quality, but this was a fair few years ago now.

So I am going to get myself one.

turbo.264 HD

I am a great fan of Elgato’s EyeTV and have been thinking for some time about buying their turbo.264 USB device to speed up the conversion and encoding of my recordings for use on the iPod touch or iPhone.

As I was near an Apple Store today I decided to pop in and see if they had one. Thought I found it and checked the price, wow, £139.95.

I know that buying retail can sometimes be a little more expensive, but the price seemed ridiculous, I had expected it to be around to £80-£100 mark.

Well, at least with the Apple Store with all their computers and free wifi I thought I would just recheck the Elgato website, and there on their website was the device for £139.95.

At this point I noticed the name, the turbo.264 HD read a little more and realised that this was not the turb0.264 I thought it was, but a new product, one which would also do HD. Released back in March I had missed the release.

turbo.264 HD

Are you frustrated by the amount of time it takes to get the video out of your new HD camcorder and into a watchable format?

Do you want to watch your videos and EyeTV recordings on your iPod, iPhone or Apple TV?

Do you wish it didn’t take so long for your EyeTV recordings to be ready for Wi-Fi Access?

Want to put your videos on YouTube and take advantage of their new HD features?

Do you own a Sony PSP® and need a way to export videos to it?

Are you a video professional and need an efficient and inexpensive way to compress your video for streaming or the web?


Turbo.264 HD is right for you.

As well as speeding up my EyeTV recording conversions I can also use it for other video conversion. Shall be interesting to see how much faster it does work.

Initial tests seem to show that it does work faster.

EyeHome Replacement

Since my EyeHome stopped working, I am guessing it was the transformer again, I have been thinking about a possible replacement.

Choices are limited, Elgato no longer make the EyeHome or any type of replacement.

You can buy uPnP devices, however my experiences with the PS3 make me wary of purchasing a uPnP media streamer.

I am supposing the obvious choice is the Apple TV, however I am not sure if I can connect it to my TV. I don’t have an HDTV, so the connectors won’t really work with a SCART television.

So do I upgrade my television so that I can use an Apple TV?


Going to try and see if I can find an EyeHome power replacement.

Serving media through the home

I really like my EyeHome device. I’ve had it a few years now and even had it fixed in Germany one time when the power supply failed. Changing to 802.11n made it much better and more capable of showing content from my Mac on my television.

It’s such a great concept I did wonder if I would be able to serve media to other devices and not just the EyeHome.

This came up recently when I put a Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) under my television which can act as a uPnP device and serve content from an appropriate media server. Not only that, but you can pair a PlayStation Portable (PSP) with the PS3 to be able to access the PS3 remotely.

A plan was starting to form…

If I could get the PS3 to access content from the Mac, I could then watch it remotely on the PSP. The PSP didn’t like accessing content direct from the Mac, so this could work, couldn’t it?

The first issue was getting some media server software running on the Mac, the EyeHome software didn’t work; and though Elgato make a uPnP software product, EyeConnect, it appeared from the Elgato website that the PS3 as a media extender was not in the list of supported extenders, and there were a few reports in the Elgato forums which kind of put me off. There is a 30 day trial, so I might give it a go later.

What did come out in my research was Twonkymedia.

The PacketVideo MediaServer enables you to share your multimedia throughout your home. It is available for many different platforms and interworks with a large variety of client devices including XBox 360™, Sony PS3™ and Sony PSP™. TwonkyMedia requires fewer resources and is faster than other UPnP media servers, and provides more features that help users enjoy large media collections.

Installed and ran it…

Worked very well.

The PS3 picked up the iMac which I was running the software on.

The PSP picked up the PS3 – though I believe that the PSP can access the media direct, but I was trying to be clever!

I tried a few other devices.

The iPod touch through the web interface could access the media.

My Nokia N95 could access the server, and the media.

A Nokia N810 could access the media, it just couldn’t play it!

Overall I was impressed, very likely to pay the €30 it costs.

EyeTV 3

Despite my previous post only one feature (the Coverflow enhancement)  for the new EyeTV 3 would require Leopard.

All the other new features will work on 10.4.11 according to Elgato.

After a period of reflection, I quite like the idea of the enhanced editing, the current tools are the best I have worked with on any TV recording system, so have them even better will be great.

Wi-Fi Access is one of my favourite features of the current version of EyeTV, the enhanced version with version 3 sounds useful if you have a new wifi phone.

Overall there are some really good features in version 3, however with the way I use EyeTV on my iMac I can’t see myself upgrading, if I upgrade the Mac mini under my television then I will get the new version.

EyeTV 3

In amongst all the hype about the MacBook Air at MacWorld a lot of other announcements got a bit lost.

Elgato have released EyeTV 3.

This new version has quite a few enhancements compared to version 2, though it looks like many of them look like they will only work on a Mac running Leopard.

At this time I don’t think I will be upgrading.

Find out more.

Slow, very slow

I have mentioned before the ability of the EyeTV application to export TV recordings in a format which then allows it to be viewed via an iPod touch or an iPhone. It exports in a Quicktime H.264 format, the quality is excellent, and file sizes small, so it is quick to stream/download over an 802.11g  wireless network.

One thing which does let the whole process down is the speed of conversion. On my Intel iMac it is slow, a one hour show takes under an hour. However  on my 1.5GHz G4 Mac mini, it takes  forever.

A two hour recording I made last night which finished at 10.30pm was still been exported this morning at 9.30am! Eleven hours into the conversion process and it was about half way done!

As you might expect I have now turned of the wifi access function of EyeTV on the Mac mini.

Elgato do make a device that in theory makes things faster, the elgato turbo.264, an external USB device which according to the blurb…

Turbo.264 rapidly converts and drops videos into iTunes, ready to synch with your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or Sony PSP. And even better, Turbo.264 does all the heavy lifting. While the hard work of video encoding is in progress, you can continue to work or play on your Mac.

Turbo.264 also accelerates the H.264 (MPEG-4) export command of popular Macintosh video applications, including EyeTV’s Wi-Fi Access feature. 

I have read mixed reviews, but it certainly does look interesting.

802.11n EyeHome

I know some reading this may be thinking, yes, Elgato have released an 802.11n version of their (sadly discontinued) EyeHome media streamer.


Sadly no, though like others I hope one day Elgato do release a new EyeHome, though Apple have released the Apple TV, I think there is still a gap in the market for a revised EyeHome.

However onto what this blog post is about… My EyeHome with is non-wireless is connected to my wireless network via a Linksys WET54G which was connected to my 802.11g Airport Express wireless network.

Now I have been having problems with my Airport Express so streaming video has been difficult as it stutters a lot. Particularly I have been having issues with my EyeTV BBC digital (Freeview) recordings which seem to be of higher quality than other Freeview channels.

Today I connected a cat5e cable from my 802.11n Airport Extreme to the EyeHome, as my TV is one side of the room and the telephone point is on the other, I have had to get a long cable.

First tests have been very positive. My content is on my iMac which is in the office in another part of the house, this is linked wirelessly to the 802.11n Airport Extreme, but streaming video, including BBC recordings, has been nearly perfect. Compared to what was happening before this is so much better, much much better.

I am pleased, as up until now I have been forced to burn my EyeTV recordings to DVD before I could watch them on my TV.

Another reason why I am glad I upgraded my wireless network to 802.11n.