EyeHome stopped

I really do like my EyeHome media streamer and it look like it has stopped working (again). It’s at time like these why I remember why I blog, when it didn’t work before I was advised by Elgato to leave it off for a long time, so at the moment it is unplugged and (probably) cooling down.

The EyeHome is now four years old (which is a long time in consumer electronics) and starting to show its age.

Sadly Elgato no longer make the EyeHome device, so I will need to look for a possible replacement. The key issue will be, can it play the raw MPEG2 recordings from Elgato?

In the interim I am using MediaServer from Twonky and streaming to a Sony PS3, but this doesn’t work with MPEG2 files, works fine with the MP4 iPod versions which the EyeTV creates, but these take a long time to export.

So if I can’t find a media streamer which works with MPEG2, I may just invest in one of the Elgato turbo.264 USB devices to speed up the encoding.

EyeHome can’t find my EyeTV content

If you have been reading recently you will know that I have upgraded my iMac to Leopard.

The majority of software and applications I use seem to have been working fine.

However last night I decided to use my EyeHome so that I could watch a recording of Merlin I had made earlier using EyeTV.

However the EyeHome could not find my EyeTV recording, and I knew I had some. The EyeHome could find video in my Movies folder and other content across the iMac but not the EyeTV recordings.

I did remove the relationship between the iMac and the EyeHome, restart the EyeHome application on the iMac, but no joy.

In the end I used Wi-Fi Access instead. One of the features of EyeTV following an update (version 2.5) was the ability to stream recordings wirelessly to an iPhone or an iPod touch. It’s simple to turn on, just go to the relevant section in the EyeTV preferences.

EyeTV Wireless Access Preferences

What this does is once EyeTV has finished recording a TV programme, it will automatically convert the recording into a format which will play on the iPod touch or the iPhone. This is then made available over your wireless network via a web interface.

So using an iPod touch I connected it to the TV, browsed to my EyeTV recordings using the URL given in the EyeTV preferences and played the recording.

This worked well (and the quality is better than the BBC iPlayer version).

Having enjoyed the episode of Merlin, I now wanted to work out why the EyeHome couldn’t find the EyeTV.

I did find this on the Elgato website.

If you are using EyeTV with EyeHome, then EyeHome thinks your EyeTV Archive is in the Library folder for your User account. In reality, it’s probably in the Documents folder, or somewhere else that you chose via the Recording Preferences in EyeTV. Due to this error, EyeHome can’t find your EyeTV recordings without help.

A symbolic link, that points from the true EyeTV Archive location, will solve the problem – name the link “EyeTV Archive”, and place it in the Library folder ( ~/Library/EyeTV Archive). In other words, put the link here:

Open the Hard Drive

Open the Users folder

Open the folder that’s named after your User account (it may have a House icon).

Open the Library folder

Place the link called “EyeTV Archive” in the Library folder

Most users can do this using SymbolicLinker.

In this way, you keep the EyeTV Archive wherever you like, but EyeHome will find a link to it in that Library folder.

My solution is going to be to move the default folder to the Library.

What is interesting is I am almost 100% sure that I did not change this preference and if I had I would have not put the archive in the Documents folder, but put it in the Movies folder.

This was a fresh install of EyeTV as when I upgrade an OS or change computer (or in this case change hard drive) I usually start with a vanilla fresh OS install and then add my applications as and when I need them. This avoids clogging the computer with applications I used once or rarely, and usually avoids problems following you around from the previous install to the new install. A good example of this is that my Canon printer now prints everytime.

Lets hope EyeHome works fine now.

When the GO!ng gets tough…

Okay despite my earlier problems and upgrade issues I am quite pleased with the GO!VIEW service.

I have downloaded a few bits and pieces.


The quality of the Doctor Who video was quite poor, almost VHS quality, however I was more impressed with the quality of the Hustle video which was (in my opinion) as good as the quality I have managed converting EyeTV Freeview recordings.

Now I suppose there are some downsides.

According to the GO!VIEW interface, I only have access to the recordings for 29 days, however this could be just because of the “free” month, but I somehow don’t think so.

Also once transferred to the PSP, I only have 14 days in which to view the video.

The major big downside is the choice, the library of content on GO!VIEW is very limited. If it wasn’t for Hustle and Spooks I probably wouldn’t subscribe and if I watch the lot by the end of the month and there is no new content then I will certainly be cancelling my subscription.

Lets wait and see.


I have always preferred using Toast to burn DVDs over the free iDVD included with all Macs as part of iLife.

Most of the DVDs I burn are of EyeTV Freeview (MPEG2) recordings so was always SO much quicker than iDVD ever could be.

Also for some reason iDVD never really liked the fact I was using PAL over NTSC, not sure why.

Of course you sacrificed functionality and other stuff in the menus, but my view was, was I going to watch the menus or the film?

I use to use the video conversion functions (which were useful) however I have now switched over to VisualHub for that.

I do use the compression facility when compressing large DVDs.

Sometimes an EyeTV recording won’t fit on a standard DVD, and DL-DVDs have not been a favourite of mine, either I created coasters or they weren’t available as printable DVDs.

So I use Toast to create a DVD Disk Image using the recording and then use the compression (use to be Popcorn) to reduce the disk image in size so it fits on a standard DVD-R.

Overall Roxio Toast 9 Titanium is one of my favourite applications for the Mac.

Pleaaaasssee be a little faster!

I have no idea why, but my iMac can be so slow at times…

This is a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac with 2 GB of RAM, so I am guessing that this really should be a fast computer, certainly faster than my old G4 PowerBook!

However at times it slows down to a real crawl, so slow that all I get is the spinning beachball of death!

However all is not lost I know why.

I run too many applications at once and I run them hard.

For example I will usually have three browsers open all with multiple tags. I also visit sites which have lots of javascript and ajax in them (such as WordPress blogs and Jaiku).

I do run a few PowerPC legacy applications (namely Word and Firefox).

I will have iPhoto and iTunes running in the background as well.

I would suspect that running EyeTV and EyeHome in the background also adds to the load.

So it’s not really the iMac’s fault, I know it’s all mine!

In theory what I should do is run a single application only and then open the others as and when I need them.

In theory that is a good idea.

In reality I don’t work that way.

Maybe I need a stack of computers with multiple spaces on a single monitor that allow me to work the way I want to without loading the lot so much so slow it right down to a crawl.

Ouch, it’s hot!

After not using it for a while, I decided that I would move my Mac mini from under the TV and move it to another room and use it as a web server.

I never really got round to using it as a TV computer, or media centre or anything really. An old CRT television is never much cop for showing a computer screen so was always using VNC to control it and if I am doing that I might as well use the laptop I am using to control the mini to do my computer stuff.

As a media centre it failed, as the Mac mini could not cope with the streams that the USB EyeTV device provided. The EyeTV relied on the mini for encoding and could it do it, no, not very well.

I also found that I rarely watched TV which I wanted to pause if I got interrupted, for things I did care about I had already recorded it already on the iMac and was watching it through the EyeHome.

However after I moved it I realised I must have turned the Airport off, so I connected it back to the 802.11n Airport Extreme by ethernet and VNC’d back in.

Now here’s my advice, if you leave a Mac mini on top of an 802.11n Airport Extreme, be aware that both will get too hot to handle! The Mac mini’s fans were going like they were going to take off.

It’s incredible how hot the 802.11n Airport Extreme gets, what does it do which means it get’s so hot?

Well the Mac mini is now in a cooler place acting as a temporary web server.

Hey, watch BBC iPlayer on your iPhone and iPod touch

The BBC launches a version of its iPlayer video on demand service for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.

The BBC has launched a version of its iPlayer video on demand service for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. It is the first time the software has been available on portable devices. The software, which allows users to download programmes from the last seven days, will work over a wi-fi connection but not over the mobile network.

Read more.

I am really pleased to see this happen. I do use the (flash version) of the iPlayer on my Macs now and again to catch up with the odd BBC TV programme either I miss or my EyeTV misses.

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.

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.