EyeTV and AppleTV 2

Discussion in 'IPTV Hardware' started by BudShark, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. BudShark

    BudShark New Member

    Aug 11, 2003
    I just finished my complete setup and I wanted to share it since its working so well.

    Hardware involved:
    iMac 21.5 i3
    AppleTV2 x2
    iPad 2 WiFi
    iPhone 4
    Hauppauge 950Q USB digital tuner

    Software involved:
    EyeTV 3
    EyeTV iOS app

    Service Provider:
    Comcast 15Mbps Internet
    Comcast lifeline Cable

    What I wanted to do is see if I could make a pay TV replacement (DirecTV with HD DVR) using the above. The short answer is Yes, and it works quite well. As long as you are ok with giving up ESPN HD this setup will work very good.

    Here's how it works:
    The EyeTV software and tuner are running in the office on the iMac. I tuned the ClearQAM channels which include my locals in HD, HGTV HD, A&E HD, Palladia HD, Sun Sports SD, and Universal Sports SD. Using the EyeTV software, I setup a series of scheduled recordings, and set these to encode an iPhone version and to create an AppleTV version and export into iTunes. This was all automatic and in the EyeTV app. I then turned on iPhone sharing in the App.

    Next I downloaded the EyeTV universal iOS app for live streaming (WiFi and 3G) to my iPhone/iPad. I tested and verified that streaming worked 3G and WiFi. The 3G was good quality (Netflix-ish) which the WiFi was fantastic quality on my iPad.

    The killer feature was AirPlay though. The AppleTV plays back my recorded shows like a DVR from iTunes home sharing, so no issues there. But, using the iOS app, I can pull up any live program and AirPlay it to the AppleTVs. Instant access to all my live channels with the ability to pause and rewind. Changing channels is fairly smooth and speedy. The only part I don't like is the fact that you cannot open the guide and keep the current channel playing in the background.

    Total invested: EyeTV3 ($80), 950Q ($70), EyeTV iOS ($5) = $155
    Features: Recording of HD shows, Streaming of recorded shows via 3G and Wifi, Playback of recorded shows via AppleTV and iTunes sync to iPad/iPhone, live TV via 3G and locally on AppleTV via Airplay.

    Anyone else have a similar setup they enjoy? Any feedback for me on what I can do/add to improve my setup?
  2. BudShark

    BudShark New Member

    Aug 11, 2003
    A couple items to note:

    Live streaming via 3G to iPhone is acceptable/somewhat pixelated and macro blocking.
    Recorded shows streamed via 3G are fantastic quality. Near WiFi levels.
    AppleTV encoded shows played via local iTunes home sharing is very good. Better than Netflix quality.
    Live Airplay sharing from iPhone/iPad to AppleTV is very very good. Not as good as encoded recordings, but very passable.

    Considering the source is compressed Comcast, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the overall video quality of this setup.
  3. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    Very nice! I have pretty much the same setup minus the tuner and the EyeTV stuff. Very tempting to try this out. Thanks for the report.
  4. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    A great tuner option is the HDHomerun which is supported not only in Windows but also Apple and Linux: http://www.silicondust.com/products/models/hdhr3-us/

    It will put OTA/Clear QAM tuners on your home network which can then be accessed by any computer on the network. Need two more tuners? Add another HDHomerun on the network.

    It's a bit more expensive then most internal tuner cards but you don't have anything to install in your computer and nothing but a simple driver. Many internal tuner cards only come with Windows drivers/software.
  5. BudShark

    BudShark New Member

    Aug 11, 2003
    Yeah... I may switch up depending on how it goes.

    Right now the only drawbacks are:

    1) Single tuner - but it doesn't seem to be affecting us yet
    2) Using feed from Comcast because it was included in my Internet package (lifeline). That is easily switched to OTA antenna
    3) One channel's guide is not accurate making automated recording a problem. Looking into solutions for that. I escalated to EyeTV, hoping to get a resolution.

    I just checked, programs that were recorded earlier today are showing on my iPhone streaming list now. The HD Homerun might be an option down the line if I want some more versatility in the setup.

    For me, the kicker was having the AppleTV more integrated and being able to Airplay Live TV. We were now able to make it the #1 device on the TV. My plan is to turn off the main DirecTV DVR today/tomorrow. No issues in a week, suspend the DirecTV account. After a month? Probably cancel.
  6. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    Yea, the HDHomerun is dual tuner and you could plug OTA into one tuner and QAM into the other. I don't know about EyeTV but you can configure WMC to know that OTA is only on Tuner 1 and QAM only on Tuner 2 and it will integrate both into the guide. Check and see what EyeTV can do.
  7. Jason Nipp1367066120

    Jason Nipp1367066120 New Member

    Feb 15, 2011
    Thanks for sharing this Budshark.
  8. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    By they way, while Windows certainly dominates the AVS HTPC forum there is a Mac only forum too: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=115

    Lots of good info for the Apples out there.
  9. itzme

    itzme Hall Of Fame

    Jan 17, 2008
    Very impressive! I wonder when the day will come when you can drop the basic cable and still get channels like CNN and ESPN.
  10. Groundhog45

    Groundhog45 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 9, 2005
    Cedar Park,...
    Very interesting. Thanks for the report. I plan on something like this using Win 7 media center. Mostly just to play with.
  11. dgalvan

    dgalvan New Member

    Jul 14, 2011
    I have a similar setup: Antenna on the roof --> HDHomerun --> EyeTV on Macbook Pro. (I live in L.A., and get great reception of lots of channels. All the networks in HD!)

    Once the shows are in EyeTV, I use one of two options to watch them on my Apple TV 2:

    1. (Great!) EyeTV auto-exports the shows to iTunes. This takes a while for my MBP to transcode the 4-10 GB eyetv files to 1-2 GB iTunes files, but we usually watch the content a day late anyway. Once it is in iTunes, I just use Home Sharing to watch the shows on Apple TV. My wife likes this because it is similar to a DVR setup. She can sort the shows on Apple TV so that she only sees "unwatched" shows (they have a little blue dot next to them). When she finishes watching a show, she holds the center remote button and "marks as watched", making the show disappear from the on-screen "unwatched" list. sort of like deleting a show on a DVR. Though in reality I have to delete the watched shows from iTunes manually. But it's easy to do this when using the watched/unwatched indicator to organize.

    2. (not-so-great) Use the EyeTV app on one of our iphones or our ipad to airplay eyetv content directly the Apple TV 2, bypassing iTunes altogether. In theory, this is a great system. In practice, I have found using the EyeTV app to airplay content to the ATV2 to be very buggy. Half the time it works fine, the other half it doesn't. Usually I end up having to restart the app on my iphone, or sometimes even reboot the iphone, in order to get live-streaming or recorded show streaming to play. sometimes the airplay button is there (in the app), sometimes not. (Note that airplay works fine with all the other apps that use it.) Sometimes the content gets to the TV screen just fine, but I can't pause/rewind/fastforward it (in which case what's the point of having it recorded?). I don't know if this is my network (the ATV2 and the Macbook Pro are hardwired to the network. . . obviously the iOS devices are not) or what. Anyone else find the eyetv app, and airplay functionality, to be buggy? As it stands now, using this method is not family-friendly at all, so we mostly only use method #1 above.

    In general:
    For us, the vast majority of what we watch is on the networks, so free OTA tv is most of what we need. The EyeTV and HDHomeRun handle the DVR capabilities, and iTunes/ATV2 handles playback. However, this doesn't get us The Daily Show, Conan, or Project Runway (ahem. . . for the wife). So the ideal solution would be a mac mini: have the mini handle all the EyeTV stuff, and have it output simultaneously to our two TVs. Use a remote to control EyeTV directly (eschewing iTunes altogether), and use Plex plugins to watch those cable shows that stream online. Hulu would be a bonus. But for this "perfect" setup, it costs at least another $700 for the mac mini. Hard to justify. But without it, we are hanging onto our Dish Network's $23/month plan, since that gets us those cable shows.
  12. vesmax

    vesmax Guest

    Very nice! I have pretty much the same setup minus the tuner and the EyeTV stuff. Very tempting to try this out. Thanks for the report.

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