Every few years you often need to re-tune your Freeview TV as the way the channels are organised and broadcast changes. Sometimes my TV lets me know, sometimes it’s a broadcaster that says something on air (which I usually miss) and more usually I find a load of channels missing and wonder what happened. This was certainly the case when my children mentioned missing channels on our Sony KDL48W605. So a quick check of the Freeview website and it was apparent that a re-tune was needed of the TV.
If the TV needed doing, I guessed that EyeTV on my Mac would also need to do it too. The mechanism for doing this is, is not entirely intuitive. What you have to do, is to use the EyeTV Setup Assistant.
Go through the screens until you reach Auto-Tune TV Channels and then click the Auto-Tune button.
So I let the EyeTV software do its job and all my channels were back to how they should be.
I can’t quite believe I have been using EyeTV 410 for over fifteenyears now and that the original Firewire based hardware is still working, though the software has gone through a few upgrades.
The EyeTV 410 has a DVB-T digital TV tuner that allows you to both watch Freeview TV on your Mac, but also record it. You can then export it to watch on mobile devices. It’s also possible to stream live TV and recorded programmes to mobile devices, not just on the local network, but it’s also possible do that over the internet.
As with Digital TVs, the EyeTV uses the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) that is transmitted alongside the video.
I was having a few issues with the EPG as it was picking up any information from the BBC channels. I could view the channels, but no channel information was available, which meant I couldn’t (easily) set recordings, though with iPlayer I do that less and less now.
I checked for software updates, no the software was up to date.
I tried to Update the DVB Programme Guide, but that didn’t work.
I then cleared the EPG database.
That didn’t work either.
I then went through the setup assistant which is accessed through the EyeTV menu.
You usually use the assistant when setting up the device, but now and again I find it useful to “reset” the EyeTV settings, or when Freeview require a re-tune.
Going to the Auto-Tune TV Channels screen of the assistant, I clicked Auto-Tune and let the assistant do its job.
This worked and I could see the channel information for the BBC channels in the EPG.
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.
Quite intrigued by this new product from Elgato. The EyeTV Netstream DTT.
EyeTV Netstream DTT is a dual network tuner for digital TV. It connects to your TV antenna and to your Ethernet network router/switch to stream digital television in full HD to your Macs and PCs. If you have a Wi-Fi network you can watch TV wirelessly on a portable computer, free from cables.
Now I don’t think I will be getting one, as though it is a very clever piece of technology, I don’t see me using it that much to justify buying one. In the main as I rarely watch live TV these days, much more likely to watch either recorded TV from the EyeTV on my iMac, or downloaded from iTunes.
Still if you do watch a lot of live TV then this could be an ideal opportunity.
Was thinking of buying a new HD TV in the near future and after a little searching this evening I was reminded that I should really be getting an HD TV with an intergrated Freeview HD Tuner in it, not just one with Freeview.
We don’t get Freeview HD until April, but I don’t really want to get another box and another remote just to watch what will be a couple of a channels, I’d rather slightly future proof and have it built in.
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.
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.
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.