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Topic # 79773 22-Mar-2011 08:51 Send private message

Not sure if this is the right forum but I'll give it a crack...

Long story short, I'm looking at setting up a media server using a Mac Mini and one thing I'm researching and trying to get my head around is recording TV to it, although I'm struggling to get up to speed with how to do this.

I saw this: http://www.elgato.com/elgato/int/mainmenu/products/tuner/netstreamdtt/product1.en.html but it seems to be for DVB-T only (so only for Freeview right?), but they also make the equivalent for DVB-S2 (this is what Sky TV is?), however according to the site this one isn't available in NZ and I also can't find it anywhere here after looking at various sites.

I am using a MySky HDi box right now as part of a normal TV setup, is there anything available that would allow me to record Sky TV to the Mac Mini either from the Sky box itself or directly via the satellite? 




Me: | Apple MacBook Pro 15" w/ Retina Display (2013) | Apple MacBook Air 13" (2013) | Apple iPad mini w/ Retina Display Wi-Fi+4G 64GB (2013) | Samsung Galaxy Note 3 | Apple TV (2010 & 2012) | Roku 3 | Google Chromecast |

Wife: | Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 64GB (2012) | Samsung Galaxy S4 |

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  Reply # 450636 22-Mar-2011 10:02 Send private message

I have a setup similar to what you are looking at doing. I have an El Gato 250+ hardware and eyeTV 3.X software. The box has both a digital and an analog tuner. It also has an analog input path for recording from any source you can think of (VHS, DVD etc) so I take an output of my Sky box and connect it here to be able to record programs from Sky, remember this is analog so you are only getting either SVHS or Composite video input and stereo sound. You can only record one Sky channel at a time and you cant watch Freeview while you are doing this (unless you have another tuner) and there is no EPG for the sky channels that talk to the eyeTV software, although there are XML options out there for that.
I don't believe the 250+ is still available but the Hybrid is still for sale and does exactly the same thing as the box I have.
I have been using this setup for about 3 years now and find it excellent for keeping everything in my mac environment. You can watch recordings in eyeTV or export them to iTunes either as an Apple TV or iPhone/iPod/iPad compatible files. You can also watch live TV or recordings over your home network and on the road with your iPhone and iPad.
If you have anymore questions please ask.

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  Reply # 450643 22-Mar-2011 10:24 Send private message

DVB-S2 H.264 applies to Sky's (4 + 3 FTA) HD channels only. The rest are DVB-S mpeg2.




Ross
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  Reply # 450645 22-Mar-2011 10:29 Send private message

I don't have a comprehensive answer, sorry, but maybe a few bits and pieces.

DVB-T is the terrestrial digital TV system used here. As far as I know, only the Freeview platform is using it.

Satellite transmissions use DVB-S currently. DVB-S2 allows for higher quality with lower bitrates using better encoding. I'd expect any DVB-S2 receiver to handle DVB-S too, but not necessarily the other way around.

You can get DVB-T USB sticks, which, if coupled with suitable software (don't know what), should allow reception and recording of Free-To-Air transmissions on your Mac Mini. I believe there are similar DVB-S/S2 units. Encrypted material (e.g. Sky) would need some authentication method. I don't have (or want) Sky, so I can't be too specific.

Coincidentally, I may be approaching a similar set up to what you intend from a different direction.

I have a Vu+ Duo satellite recorder. It can record across a LAN to a shared newtork volume (in your case, that would be served by the Mac Mini), and has media playback functionality built-in, although it is a little limited and slightly buggy. The Duo can also take a USB DVB-T stick and receive/record terrestrial digital (no use to me - no coverage where I am). It also will accept some Sky cards to allow receipt of encrypted material (again - no direct experience).

I looked at options to expand on the media playback approach, trying and rejecting WD Live TV HD, WD Live TV Hub, WD MyBook World Edition (basically a NAS with DLNA). Word around the campfire is that Apple TV is the best option.


It's not much, I know, but maybe it'll get some chatter going in your thread.



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  Reply # 450974 23-Mar-2011 04:35 Send private message

apdv1: I have a setup similar to what you are looking at doing. I have an El Gato 250+ hardware and eyeTV 3.X software. The box has both a digital and an analog tuner. It also has an analog input path for recording from any source you can think of (VHS, DVD etc) so I take an output of my Sky box and connect it here to be able to record programs from Sky, remember this is analog so you are only getting either SVHS or Composite video input and stereo sound. You can only record one Sky channel at a time and you cant watch Freeview while you are doing this (unless you have another tuner) and there is no EPG for the sky channels that talk to the eyeTV software, although there are XML options out there for that.
I don't believe the 250+ is still available but the Hybrid is still for sale and does exactly the same thing as the box I have.
I have been using this setup for about 3 years now and find it excellent for keeping everything in my mac environment. You can watch recordings in eyeTV or export them to iTunes either as an Apple TV or iPhone/iPod/iPad compatible files. You can also watch live TV or recordings over your home network and on the road with your iPhone and iPad.
If you have anymore questions please ask.


Hi Andrew, thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I've got a few more questions for you!

1. I'm assuming the Sky box can output on more than one connection simultaneously? Right now I have HDMI going into the receiver then out to the TV, so I could output via S-Video to the EyeTV and still keep the HDMI setup with the receiver?

2. How's the quality of the Sky programs using S-Video? I see the web site says "the quality of analogue video depends on the processor speed of your Mac", but I'd be using a 2010 Mac Mini Server (reconfigured to run Snow Leopard client).

3. When recording a Sky program it's still ok to change the channel on the Sky box without it interfering with the recording?

4. You mentioned above about not being able to watch Freeview while recording Sky; our TV supports Freeview but I'd look at connecting the UHF aerial to the EyeTV and have the S-Video from the Sky box, so with this setup would it still mean that if recording Sky through the EyeTV I couldn't watch Freeview through the EyeTV software?

5. Does the EyeTV software use the Freeview EPG? Where do you get the Sky XML files from?

Cheers!




Me: | Apple MacBook Pro 15" w/ Retina Display (2013) | Apple MacBook Air 13" (2013) | Apple iPad mini w/ Retina Display Wi-Fi+4G 64GB (2013) | Samsung Galaxy Note 3 | Apple TV (2010 & 2012) | Roku 3 | Google Chromecast |

Wife: | Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 64GB (2012) | Samsung Galaxy S4 |

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  Reply # 451146 23-Mar-2011 15:16 Send private message

Hi There
I'm glad to be able to help

1, Yes, AFAIK you can have multiple outputs from the Sky box. I don't have a My Sky but I can have SVHS and Composite coming out of my digital box at the same time. Although you may have to fiddle around with some settings in the My Sky box.
2, The quality of the signal is OK it's not fantastic but it's also not unwatchable (although that can be debated!). There are 3 levels of quality in the Analogue settings section in the preferences and I think the processor speed comment has more to do with how taxed it will get at the different levels, I have never used anything other than the highest setting and this has been fine.
3, No, the channel you are recording in the computer will have to be the one that is coming out the SVHS and audio outs of your Sky box so as to record it.
4, You can use 1 tuner at a time, If you are recording from Sky you cannot watch freeview via eyeTV and vice versa, however, If your TV is connected to Sky and and Freeview independently from eyeTV and you are recording a Freeview channel then you could watch what you want on Sky through your TV (I think that makes sense!)
5, Yes, the eye TV software can use the Freeview EPG. Read through this post to find out more about using XML. http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=126&topicid=78347

If there is anything else let me know

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