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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > EyeTV Hybrid Quality Help

EyeTV Hybrid Quality Help
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Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Status: Offline
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Nov 1, 2008, 05:58 PM
Here's my situation.

I am close to buying EyeTV Hybrid 2008. I have Comcast cable here in Oregon. I called them up mentioning that I want to record cable to my computer. I asked them what the bit rate was as that is important for quality on the computer, evidently. I asked if it was MPEG-4 and she said yes, the cable does transmit in MPEG-4 quality, not MPEG-2, etc. But she said that she supervisor advised here I wouldn't get the digital cable quality just with a coax cable from the wall, even more so with the digital update in February. She said that I needed to get a digital cable box (no problem for me) then take the cable from the box to the computer for recording.

So now I have some questions, please.

1) I've read online that using a digital cable box inbetween the cable from the wall and your computer decreases quality. Is this true?
2) The Comcast gal told me that there are digital cards to install into the computer. I have a Mac, naturally, so I don't believe that's possible to get the signal. Am I missing anything with this?
3) Is EyeTV Hybrid the best option for me? I believe it is.

Many thanks for your time with helping me out. There's no number evidently to call Elgato, otherwise I would.
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
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Nov 2, 2008, 12:36 AM
The problem is you can't get a Mac compatible card or dongle that supports the encryption they use for digital cable; even with a PC it's a huge hassle to get one with CableCard support (have to buy specific boxes from an OEM).

A Firewire port on a cable box is probably the easiest way, but I don't know if they're limited to SD instead of HD. With any of the Miglia or El Gato tuners you'll probably be limited to analog channels only.
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
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Nov 3, 2008, 06:43 PM
Comcast's digital cable is MPEG-2, but only local channels are unencrypted. All the encrypted channels you cannot receive on a Mac, except by using an external cable box and an infrared transmitter ("IR blaster") to let EyeTV control the cable box.

When you record digital TV using the EyeTV software, it's simply writing the video stream from the cable company (in Comcast's case, MPEG-2) with no processing. When recording analog, EyeTV also records in MPEG-2 format, but you can pick the quality.

The "February update" (that is, the shutdown of analog broadcast TV) has nothing to do with cable in any way, and is simply technobabble they blabber at you to convince you to pay more for digital cable even though it's unrelated.
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