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Mac PVR Coming Soon

pudge posted more than 12 years ago | from the must-get-new-toy dept.

Media (Apple) 182

mgrochmal writes "One of the items bouncing around the rumor mills is EyeTV, a TiVo-like device for Apple computers. Made by El Gato Software, it hooks up to one of the Mac's USB ports and captures MPEG-1 video, with a choice between a VideoCD-compatible recording, or a higher quality recording. You can read about a preview build of it, as well as read a comparison between it and a TiVo." It doesn't come with a hard drive; and here I was, thinking I wouldn't fill up my new 160GB hard drive any time soon. Silly me.

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Let's hope they do a better job than ATi (2, Interesting)

Clue4All (580842) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894389)

ATi has marketed a couple of their cards with TiVo-like capabilities, and they are awful. It's not a driver issue this time (a first for ATi), but the software iself is crappy and unreliable. Without a Mac it won't do me much good, but it's nice that someone's going to give it another go.

Re:Let's hope they do a better job than ATi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894412)

What is that link supposed to do in your sig? Nada on Mozilla / Win2K.

Re:Let's hope they do a better job than ATi (0, Offtopic)

phong3d (61297) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894525)

The only thing in the page source is this:

<object ID="dosIE-doe" CLASSID="CLSID:00022613-0000-0000-C000-00000000004 6"></object>

Nothing happened in Moz 1.1/WinXP, but IE6 died immediately. Cute :)

Re:Let's hope they do a better job than ATi (0)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894879)

...as did IE5.5/Win2k lets hope i'm not now rooted ;)

Re:Let's hope they do a better job than ATi (0)

tomcio.s (455520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894490)

Actually there is a CREATIVE LABS product out there (one of the blasters, you can find it on their site).
Its for PC and AFAIK it was rather stable.
Too bad I got an ATI-TVtunerUSB already.
Oh, and I believe it also did MPG2 compression on chip...
Now if I only had a link to it ;-)

MOD DOWN! PARENT IS A TROLL!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894561)

This [cnn.com] is hysterical.

(no, it's not goatse)

-JismTroll, posting at zero thanks to Slashdot's new karma system!

HELLO, ANYBODY THERE??? (3, Interesting)

Derek Smalls (593344) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894674)

My TV burned up 4 years ago, and thanks to ATI. VirtualDub, and recently GATOS gatos.sourceforge.net I haven't seen a commercaial or an annoying network logo for YEARS. Maybe you just stuck with the CRAP software that ATI ships, I haven't. 5 mins of clipping, 15 mins of processing, and an annoying 60 minutes of TV turns into 40 mins of unfettered joy. And I get to keep it for those dull TV nights! Ted Turner can kiss my ass!

Re:Let's hope they do a better job than ATi (-1, Troll)

Marque_Off (589454) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895061)

So not its lack of your shows in the design goal, MPEG-1 should be even turn it said "Please don't want to the quality isn't going to watch OS X render television just as it another go."

I also have been a particular order and/or port. Great, now I have been a subscriber feature, where you can watch all Apple-related rumors? Heck, you can add one of capture cards out there? Is it another device. I've heard the design goal, MPEG-1 video and if/when El Gato attacks the maker of capture cards out there? Is it renders any other 2D graphics. Lame-assed quartz... Give me much good, but its lack of capture cards with that port (or you down and a Mac it another device.

I've heard the PowerBook my Firewire hub if I remember on a Microtech Smartmedia/CF reader, and MS optical Intellimouse. So not nuts about $30. For their application, I have a Palm USB adapter, one of capture cards with a gamepad. But I have been a hub I connect, and unreliable. Without a better choice.

How does this differ from any sense. If the bins until after all, but the PC market there's a couple of SCSI as slowly as an example, on my TiBook 667 I have several devices that'll ONLY work when either hooked.

Hmm. (0)

tomcio.s (455520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894395)

Yet another reason to buy a Mac platform...

Yet another.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894587)

...Mac user touting a PC first as a reason to buy a Mac. We already have that. Just like we already had mp3 players, DVD burners, CDRWs, and just about everything you've ever had, first.

Nice try, though.

Isn't it a shame then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894753)

that all those wonderful parts are strung together with the pos operating systems the PC seems to be stuck with.

Re:Isn't it a shame then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894858)

what linux?!?!?
bwahahahaa

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894599)

As opposed to the dozen alternatives that don't require a pc and the other dozen that work with Windows?

Yet another reason to lick my balls. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894989)

n/t.

Whatever. (0, Flamebait)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894400)

Great, now I can watch OS X render television just as slowly as it renders any other 2D graphics. Lame-assed quartz...

Re:Whatever. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894492)

Um. Quicktime and other video display are actually extremely snappy on Mac OS X, and at any rate have nothing to do with Quartz. Quicktime actually *bypasses* Quartz. Quicktime and OpenGL actually have special optimized hooks that allow them to talk directly to the display server without having to use display pdf as an intermediary. Look, you can read about it here. [apple.com]

USB? Ick. (5, Insightful)

Space Coyote (413320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894415)

Give me FireWire, please. MPEG-1 video quality isn't going to cut it on a Mac, I'm afraid.

Re:USB? Ick. (2)

zephc (225327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894465)

USB has more than enough bandwidth for a TV video and audio signal.

I SO want one of these, seeing them just yesterday on their website. A friend's dad just got one for HIS Mac, and loves it, rejoicing in being able to get rid of his TiVo ;)

Re:USB? Ick. (1)

bkim (93168) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894646)

A friend's dad just got one for HIS Mac, and loves it, rejoicing in being able to get rid of his TiVo ;)
Are you serious? This thing is nowhere close to replacing my TiVo. I didn't see any mention of it being able to control DSS receivers or cable boxes.

Re:USB? Ick. (2)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894713)

USB has more than enough bandwidth for a TV video and audio signal.

You're kidding, right? Maybe if it's compressed...and given the way USB was designed, I wouldn't expect to be able to do much with your computer while it's capturing. For an external gadget, FireWire would've been much better. DV would be a better capture format than MPEG; it's more easily edited (which is good for cutting ads out of stuff you want to archive). Sony has a device that converts analog video (composite or S-video) to DV and puts it out on FireWire...add a computer-controlled tuner to it and you'd be all set.

(Do Macs have AGP slots? If they do, why couldn't someone drop in any old video card that the rest of us use? Failing that, I know most of 'em do PCI, and you can still find video cards and capture cards that use PCI. I capture to Huffyuv-compressed AVI (720x480, 29.97 fps) with an All-In-Wonder Radeon. The video goes to MPEG only after all the ads are edited out.)

and if one doesn't have an AGP slot (1)

Miska (45422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895093)

there's this exellent external firewire tv/dv-in + tuner device from Formac

http://www.formac.co.uk/html/products/av/stud_1. ht m

(too bad it costs more than a small tv)

.

Re:USB? Ick. (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894473)

I would tend to agree. The only reason I could see them going with USB is if they want to see this device in the PC market as well.

Re:USB? Ick. (2, Interesting)

dthable (163749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894515)

Most PC users should start seeing IEEE 1394 in the near future. Sony is really pushing to use it with their new digital hub like PCs and in their products. Besides, now that the Mac users have paid with their first born for FireWire devices, the market is prime for PC cheapskates to pick up on our trend.

Re:USB? Ick. (1)

Dunkalis (566394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894506)

I agree. I use Macs at school for video editing (Final Cut Pro, not that iMovie stuff), and the footage captured is exactly like the real deal. Granted, thats just raw footage, and takes up an obscene amount of space. However, when we need to use cameras without FireWire ports, it becomes a pain in the arse to import it. From camera to DV tape to Mac, and there is a quality loss, since the camera is analog. This would be awesome, but MPEG-1? Granted, its for a PVR function, but still. If they made it FireWire, it'd give the option of importing the raw footage. Yet another cool gadget for a Mac that fails because it doesn't use the Macs full potential.

Now, if only I could convince them to put OS X on the machines...Then I'd be really happy. No more crappy OS 9!

Re:USB? Ick. (5, Informative)

jht (5006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894625)

I think for the design goal, MPEG-1 should be fine (it's just a cruddy NTSC signal, after all), but I'm not nuts about using USB for yet another device. I've already got enough USB devices, and some play nicely with a hub and some don't. USB is almost the second coming of SCSI as far as voodoo goes.

Just as an example, on my TiBook 667 I have 2 USB ports. On them are:

Port 1 - a MacAlly external keyboard and MS optical Intellimouse.
Port 2 - Belkin 7-port powered USB hub.

Then, attached to the hub I have a Palm USB adapter, one of those Griffin iKnobbie things (it's useless, but cool) a Microtech Smartmedia/CF reader, and a gamepad. But I also have several devices that'll ONLY work when either hooked up to the free port on the keyboard or directly attached to the PowerBook:

-DiskOnKey (128MB)
-Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX
-Olympus D-3000 digital camera
-Compaq iPaq 3765

So not only are my USB ports pretty darned busy, but I have devices that'll only work in a particular order and/or port. OTOH my Firewire port has only two devices that I connect, and then only when needed: an external hard drive and a Canon DV camcorder. And I could always get a Firewire hub if I needed one.

In general, most people are using their Firewire ports less, and if/when El Gato attacks the PC market there's a decent (and growing) number of PC's with that port (or you can add one for about $30). For their application, I think Firewire would have been a better choice.

-

Re:USB? Ick. (1)

Denito (196701) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894900)



my word, that's a lot of gadgets.

I'm glad there is slashdo.. Makes me feel like my gadget consuption is low by comparison.

Re:USB? Ick. (2, Interesting)

cdrj (556227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894975)

What exactly is a Griffin iKnobbie thing? I tend to like useless and cool things, but I couldn't find what you were talking about.

Re:USB? Ick. (0)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894986)

i've not used one - but they do look cool on the website... (if I had a pound for every time i've said that - i'd be a fat bastard) http://www.griffintechnology.com/audio/pwrmate.htm l

Re:USB? Ick. (0)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894999)

err... that should be http://www.griffintechnology.com/audio/pwrmate.htm l sorry peeps

Re:USB? Ick. (0)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895019)

jesus wept. talk about making a dick of yourself in public...

you aren't stupid. u can work it out...

Re:USB? Ick. (2, Interesting)

jht (5006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895013)

It's the Griffin PowerMate [griffintechnology.com] , but at the time I couldn't remember the name of it (and I'm at work, so it isn't in front of me).

I thought iKnobbiething was a good stand-in under the circumstances... In fact, maybe there's a market for a device with that kind of name!

Re:USB? Ick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3895085)

So do you play a lot of Arkanoid with that thing?

Bye bye disk space (1)

MissMyNewton (521420) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894416)


here I was, thinking I wouldn't fill up my new 160GB hard drive any time soon. Silly me.

Seeing as the disk drive industry is in some pain, they gotta be cheering stuff like this on! A 160GB drive ain't so tough when you stuff it with hours of [your favorite TV shows / movies] :-)

Long Past That (1)

dthable (163749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894581)

I've gone past saying bye bye to disk space a long time ago. My MP3 collection alone takes up 160 GB (and all are legal...I have the CD's for any RIAA twit who wants to check). For this I'm going to need a whole new computer.

Re:Long Past That (1)

duren686 (463275) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895071)

Care to back up that claim? You would have to have ~1000* CDs in your posession.

This is assuming that the MP3s are at 320kbps and each CD has 74 minutes of audio, both of which are unrealistic assumptions.

Under realistic circumstances (160 kbps, each legitimate CD having an average of 60 minutes on audio) you would need 2276 CDs to fill 160GB with MP3 files.

Of course, you could just have 50 CDs and 20 copies of each song, but this doesn't seem like something you'd do.



*The actual calculated number is 922.5, and I can state the calculations that I made to prove this upon request.

Just Like GeoPort or WinPrinters (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894943)

Yep, there goes your computeter disk space and processing time in support for another device with cut-rate hardware features.

IF it was something that hooked to an iPod, THEN you would have a hot product, as you don't need to have the computer on and running a task to intercept those shows, added portability, etc. etc. etc.

Apply Capture? (1)

nemui-chan (550759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894417)

How does this differ from any of the other hundreds of capture cards out there? Is it different just because its apple? (This isn't a troll... I'm seriously curious =) nems

Re:Apply Capture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894455)

It's small, white, and curvy?

It supports additional industry-standard buzzwords such as "digital hub" that PC solutions do not?

That's about all i can think of.

Re:Apply Capture? (3, Informative)

pudge (3605) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894517)

Well, it is USB, so it is not a card, which means it will work with iMacs, iBooks, PowerBooks that don't have capability to use cards. Other than that, probably not too much different, though I don't know card specs. It mostly just captures the video, converts to MPEG-1, and is controllable via software to some extent (to change the channel or input source, for example), apparently. I sure want to play with one ...

The difference is... (4, Informative)

chris_martin (115358) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894584)

That it works on Mac OS X. The PVR space is well covered on wintel, but there isn't anything out there on the Mac. There are tons of video capture cards/devices on the Mac, but nothing (until now) that does PVR with scheduling and such. Plus it does MPEG1 encoding in the box so it'll work on any Mac with USB. Sure, it's not the best by todays standards, but it's lightweight and works. Plus, it's less that $200US so it's a thrid the cost of a ReplayTV or TiVO. It's missing some features compaired to ReplayTV, but not enough to make me want to spend 3 times more for it. Plus, since it creates standard MPEG1 files, I can off load them to CD/HD/whatever and save them as long as I want.

Incase (-1, Redundant)

isorox (205688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894425)

Incase slashdot's front page gets slashdotted:

mgrochmal [mailto] writes "One of the items bouncing around the rumor mills is EyeTV, a TiVo-like device for Apple computers. Made by El Gato Software [elgato.com] , it hooks up to one of the Mac's USB ports and captures MPEG-1 video, with a choice between a VideoCD-compatible recording, or a higher quality recording. You can read about a preview build of it [macintoshdigitalhub.com] , as well as read a comparison between it and a TiVo [com.com] ." It doesn't come with a hard drive; and here I was, thinking I wouldn't fill up my new 160GB hard drive any time soon. Silly me.

This post is a waste of your time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894431)

not mine.

I wasted all my *two posts* for today. Does it prevent me from posting again? Choke on my huge cock, Taco!

-- MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Go open source! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894435)

Damn!

Mod this up! # +5; Funny # (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894445)

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USB? What were they thinking? (5, Insightful)

guttentag (313541) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894501)

it hooks up to one of the Mac's USB ports and captures MPEG-1 video... and here I was, thinking I wouldn't fill up my new 160GB hard drive any time soon. Silly me.
I have a USB TV Tuner (Eskape's MyTV, which produces abysmal video) that requires separate hardware for the audio because USB couldn't handle full-screen video plus audio. If the maker of this PVR is trying to squeeze video and audio into a USB (not USB 2) cable, I imagine the quality will be even worse.

This doesn't make any sense. If the Macintosh is really the target platform for this, why didn't they use Firewire? All current Macs ship with Firewire (even the $799 G3 iMac).

Re:USB? What were they thinking? (2)

ActMatrix (246577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894568)

USB is adequate for streaming MPEG-1 video & audio - most of those cheap USB TV tuners just send the raw video stream becuase they don't have hardware MPEG encoders.

USB = plenty of bandwidth for compressed data (3, Informative)

Fencepost (107992) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894700)

As someone else has also pointed out, running uncompressed video over USB is a problem, but if you have a box that's doing hardware compression and just sending the compressed file over USB for storage then you shouldn't have any problems.

The review mentions that the standard (only?) compression results in about 650MB of data for each hour of recording. Basing an estimate of USB bulk data transfer capacity on the fact that you can get 4x USB CDR drives, this thing is only using approximately 1/4 of the capacity of a USB connection.

huh? (-1, Redundant)

jest3r (458429) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894507)

A realtime MPEG-1 encoder connected through USB is supposed to be exciting news ..?

Maybe if it did MPEG-4 and Firewire ..

Exciting? Hardly! (-1, Troll)

kylef (196302) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894808)

This Slashdot thread is yet another example of how Mac-centric the "new" Slashdot has become.

My roommate bought a Windows-based USB Mpeg-1 TV tuner device back in 1999 for about $50 retail.

I recently purchased a Pinnacle PCI-based capture card for about $20 and use free software [virtualdub.org] to do all of my recording.

So I completely fail to see why a similar device for Apple, arriving more than 3 years late, is this newsworthy! There is another forum [macslash.org] much more suited to such banal news.

Re:Exciting? Hardly! (2)

lostchicken (226656) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894954)

Go here [slashdot.org] and turn off Apple news if you don't want to see it.

/. has options. If you don't like the defaults, don't use them...

Re:Exciting? Hardly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894978)

This Slashdot thread is yet another example of how Mac-centric the "new" Slashdot has become.

Oh my god, he's right! Slashdot is now Macdot!11!!! Two front page articles in two days! The plastic...it's everywhere!!!

Get a grip.

I can see the disclaimer on the Commerical now... (4, Funny)

motardo (74082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894526)

I remember on the iPod commercial at the end and in very small print (like any disclaimer) it said "Please don't steal music". I wonder what it'll say now, probably "Don't steal anything disney related or we will hunt you down and shove lilo and stitch related crap down your throats"

The problem with MPEG-1 (5, Informative)

benwaggoner (513209) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894529)

Alas, MPEG-1`is a lousy format for PVR use of any quality. MPEG-2 only stores video as progressive scan. However, TV is broadcast as interlaced, where the even lines are captured 1/59.94th of a second off from the odd lines. The difference between fields includes half of the video compression information.

Since MPEG-1 can't store data like this, one of the two fields will have to be discarded before capturing. This means you'll lose half of the temporal information automatically. This will leave anything originally shot of film looking jerky on playback, and anything shot on video less "present."

Good PVR systems use MPEG-2, which can store fields. There are good MPEG-2 hardware cards for Mac, even, that they could use instead. Heck, a Dual G4 can encode MPEG-2 in software in significantly faster than real time with the DVD Studio Pro Codec.

Re:The problem with MPEG-1 (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894607)

It stores it as MPEG-1 so it's easy to burn to a VideoCD for storage and playback on my DVD players.

Poor-Man's DVD Recorder (5, Interesting)

Nomad7674 (453223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894645)

Keep in mind that the selling point here is NOT just a PVR. If all you want is a PVR, it would be just as good to invest in a Tivo or ReplayTV unit which is dedicated and, as you say, provides higher-quality video. This is also a VCR replacement by providing a cheap way to both record programs in a PVR-style and then save them to a cheap disk-based media. With this unit and Toast, you can easily record your favorite Simpsons episodes, then burn then to a VCD for playing on your DVD player. It makes it sort of a poor-man's DVD recorder (since component DVD recorders are still in the $1000+ range).

This is why my brother is looking hard at buying an EyeTV. Course, he could also look for a solution with a DVD-burner built into it and a MPEG-2 encoder card, but that costs a lot more than the $200 he would be spending to add this to his exiting iMac + External DVD-burner setup.

vidcap card != PVR? (2)

zaren (204877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894543)

I can do video capture on my Mac in iMovie with a DV bridge, without even using a special video capture card; that doesn't make my Mac a PVR... does it?

Re:vidcap card != PVR? (2)

Space Coyote (413320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894777)

Set up a cron job to record the simpsons when you're not at home and you've got everything this does. (assuming you have a way of tuning a TV signal, of course)

Re:vidcap card != PVR? (2)

zaren (204877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894971)

cron jobs in OS9? :)

Yes, I know there's cron-type software out there... could probably write an applescript for it, too. But, I'm not running OS X on the box I'm doing the video stuff on, since it won't play nice with the SOnnet G4 upgrade.

Two deceptions in the lead: (3, Informative)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894545)


This is not a rumor; this is an announced, real, for-sale-today product. www.elgato.com.

This will work with a Mac, but is not an Apple product. Just to be clear.

Re:Two deceptions in the lead: (1)

belloc (37430) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895023)

This will work with a Mac, but is not an Apple product. Just to be clear.

I'm not sure the lead could have been any more clear on this point. It says right there that the product is "Made by El Gato Software" with a direct link to their homepage, on which the featured product is EyeTV. How exactly is that deceptive at all?

Not new at all (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894550)

A friend of mine has had a Dazzle USB for like 2 years. It's a nice little curvy box with composite + audio and s-video i/o and a usb connection. I dunno if it works on a Mac, but I dont see any reson why it wouldn't. (unless they were just bone-headed and didn't make drivers)

Newer models have DV connections & the USB product is now sold as the lower end (MPEG-1) solution.

Re:Not new at all (2)

zaren (204877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895005)

I believe they were bone-headed and didn't make drivers.

Not that it matters, because (as you said) Dazzle has a Firewire based DV bridge (the Hollywood model) that works great. Composite / s-video in and out, just like the usb, only running a much higher thruput with the Firewire. That's what I picked up, and it works great. I can patch it into my vcr and record live tv, too! See my previous comments about my Mac possibly being a PVR ;)

Not a Rumor (5, Informative)

robertchin (66419) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894551)

Well, I hate to break it to you, but this is not a rumor. See: http://www.elgato.com/eyeTV/index.html [elgato.com] for more details.

Re:Not a Rumor (1, Flamebait)

Asprin (545477) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894896)

Well, I hate to break it to you, but this is not a rumor. See: http://www.elgato.com/eyeTV/index.html [elgato.com] for more details.

Ok, so if it's designed to be plugged into a Mac, why does it have a USB port instead of FireWire? [elgato.com] Don't tell me Apple's given up already!

Re:Not a Rumor (1)

Splunge (88538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894928)

/. was just trying to get their press pass to MacWorld rescinded by claiming it's a rumor.

Gee (-1, Flamebait)

Derek Smalls (593344) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894564)

they're almost up to the level of a mere PC with an ATI card! Amazing! Way to go MAC!

Yes, yes yes but... (-1, Offtopic)

fatcow (121528) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894565)

All I want to know is,

Will it have one mouse button or two???

Re:Yes, yes yes but... (1)

MadAhab (40080) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894603)

It will have a beowulf cluster of them. Can you imagine that?

Double Plus 5 insightful (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894590)


Well, I see slashdot content still self-moderates itself to about 33.33333% crap, while 99.9999% of the ads appearing on the site are for SourceForge. No one in their right mind would waste advertising dollars on a site that - by its own moderation system - contains over 1/3 crap that isn't worth reading.

Good job with the new 2-posts per day moderation system, Commander "Taco", if that really is your name.

Mod me down you censor-cowards, I don't care.

None of these PC devices have nailed it (4, Informative)

bitmason (191759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894609)

The difference between a Tivo and all of the PC hardware/software combinations is like night and day. Tivo (usually) just works and fundamentally lets you break away from being tied to program schedules.

By contrast all the PC software that I've tried is still fundamentally based on pointing at a programming ggrid and asking the software to record something. That's when it works. I've had a lot of problems with, not only drivers, but also the software itself doing things like having problems recording adjacent programs -- to say nothing of crashing on a fairly regular basis.

I've come to believe that we'll move toward having a "digital entertainment center" that may be (hopefully will be) based on as open an architecture as possible but will be optimized for specific types of entertainment-related functions as opposed to general computing. We all like the idea of this infinitely hackable, totally open computer device, but -- at least for now -- I think Tivo has demonstrated rather convincingly that specialization has some advantages too.

Yawn! (2)

toupsie (88295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894616)

USB is not going to cut it for quality video and audio. Really isn't a PVR as much as it is a toy. I was excited, at first, when I heard rumors of the device but I was hoping for a Firewire device. I expect "ElGato" will have a bunch of these puppies sitting in pallets in their warehouse for a long time.

My major beef with Mac OS X right now is no TV-in card. I like to have CNN/CNBC/Fox News in a little window running while I type away at my work. With a three monitor Mac system, I have plenty of places to put that window. I have an ATI All-In-Wonder card that works beautifully in Mac OS 9 but has no drivers for Mac OS X and ATI doesn't give a damn if it ever does. It just runs one of the monitor like a plain RagePro 128. Which is fine, because I will never buy another card from ATI nor will my business until ATI provides TV-in/out drivers for the All-In-Wonder for Mac OS X. Unfair? Maybe so, but I am the customer, so I am always right. Nvidia is now my sole Mac Video Card supplier.

here's another cool device (1, Offtopic)

jilles (20976) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894620)

http://www.archos.com/us/products/product_jbmm.htm l

It's a 20 GB mp3 player with support for firewire, usb 2.0. Drooling yet? Well it also has extension modules for turning it in a camcorder and a pvr and compact flash reader (to copy photos to the hd). Pretty cool price too :-). If it works as advertised, I might want one.

Cool (2)

Dilbert_ (17488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894634)

I just hope it is compatible with European TV signals...

Re:Cool (3, Informative)

MatSimpsk (580539) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894890)

From the FAQ on their website [elgato.com] :

"Q. Does EyeTV support PAL format and work internationally?

A. Not yet. EyeTV currently only supports NTSC format for use in North America."

USB 2.0? (1)

Ramuh (153125) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894638)

Perhaps they're using USB 2.0 [usb.org] . If so, I still don't see why firewire wouldn't be a better choice.

Re:USB 2.0? (3, Interesting)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894685)

Except no shipping Macs use USB 2.0. Maybe it will in the future, but not now.

Do we need complex acronyms? by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894654)

Credits: dmg

Yet again the Linux so-called elite, backed up by their pseudo intellectual cohorts of the w3c conspire to ruin Linux's chances in the marketplace by sowing confusion and complexity. As someone with years of experience in the marketing world, I am constantly amazed at the willingness of the W3C and other bodies to pollute the acronym space with their content free "TLAs".

Basic marketing 101 (and an undergrad course in psychology) would tell them that the normal person is only capable of remembering approximately 7 items of data in their short-term memory, but now we have to remember HTTP, HTML, XML, XSL, DTD, PHP, SSL, DSL, ADSL, ISDN, Perl, etc etc etc

This is a text book example of the tail wagging the dog from a marketing perspective.

I have been following the standardisation of the web for many many months now, but one thing has become clear, E-commerce will NEVER become popular so long as there are so many confusing acronyms involved. The guys in charge of marketing Linux absolutely MUST work to reduce the number of acronyms. One possible solution would be to merge those protocols which are not all that different. For example, why not merge XML with SGML ? (they could call it XSGML or SXGML or perhaps XMSGML), they seem to address the same problems. Or would that be too simplistic a solution for their pampered elitist ivy-league minds to comprehend ?

If something is not done URGENTLY, and I mean URGENTLY, Linux (and other more experimental derivatives such as FreeBSD) can never hope to be taken seriously as an e-commerce platform by the people who count - the accountants.

The miracle of Linux is that anyone actually runs it at all, considering one seems to require a masters in computer science to install it! (contrast this with NT4 which was so easy to install, we let our receptionist upgrade her own machine).

As usual my "open source" advice is free. Hopefully this time my valuable advice will be taken into account the next time the w3c smell an acronym brewing.

Finally, in conclusion, as an American, I am saddened that the Internet seems to have been commandeered by a European based protocol. Was America so short of talent we had to buy the HTML protocol from Tom Berners-Lee at CERN ?

Think of the security implications of the worlds strongest economy, running an e-commerce protocol developed by a foreigner from Socialist Europe. Remember the wall has not been down for that long. Who knows what kind of trojans might be lurking within the depths of these complicated protocols.

I am afraid I am behind Al Gore on this point, how can this be necessary in the home of smart corporations such as Microsoft and Intel ? The answer is the vast subsidies given by European socialist governments to fund development of the HTML specification.

The solution is clear. The federal government should mandate and strongly subsidise the use of Microsoft software for all US corporations involved in e-commerce. Only with a US-developed set of protocols can we be assured of the security of our transactions.

- posted by poopbot: news for turds, stuff that splatters

3oKMchOeiI

Build a Linux PVR? (1, Offtopic)

superid (46543) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894658)


I'm thinking of building a dedicated linux based PVR, but I know very little about video capture. All I want to do is timeshift broadcast TV. I know there are many capture cards, and when I read the specs I don't get a feel for what is the most important. I think that I'm moving towards a hauppauge winTV-pci because that is in my pricerange. However, I'm not sure that a P2-266 (my spare box) is up to the encoding challenge in a reasonable amount of time.

Can anyone point me to a very generic linux PVR project or page?

Thx!

(no, I don't want a TiVo)

Re:Build a Linux PVR? (1)

dwhittington (577769) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895033)

http://www.cadsoft.de/people/kls/vdr/

Apple Home Entertainment System (3, Interesting)

medcalf (68293) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894681)

OK, so you take an iMac (or a G4 tower or even a PowerBook), hook up one of these gadgets as an input and a digital TV that takes a SVGA hookup as an output. Hook the audio out to the big speakers. All that's needed is a good AM/FM tuner card, and you could get rid of the entire audio component stack (other than the turntable) and the DVD player.

Re:Apple Home Entertainment System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894972)

Hook the audio out to the big speakers. All that's needed is a good AM/FM tuner card, and you could get rid of the entire audio component stack (other than the turntable) and the DVD player.

And the receiver/amp... unless your Powerbook can drive 500-600 watts these days. Ummm, so what exactly are you getting rid of? The $100 VCR, a DVD player and replacing it with a $1800 iMac? I hope you have a better excuse when you try to explain that to your wife. No thanks, I'll keep my shit seperate so I can replace components as they become obsolete without throwing everything out and starting from scratch.

Advertisements (1)

sdjunky (586961) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894682)

I can see them now
www.apple.com/tivo/switch

"Bob Gangreene - I used to own a Tivo. I felt so boxed in. It's like I had no choices. Also, all of my actions were being recorded and sold. But now I have Apple's new PVR and I'll never go back"

"Janice Manson - PVR? What's that? Oh, you mean my personal recorder. It's so easy to use I don't even know what it's called"

"Hillary Rosen - This is off the record right? Well, personally I love this thing. And since it's from Apple we definitely have an easier time of chopping their little company into pieces over copyright issues. Just between you and me MS really looking into supporting the RIAA if we plan on going that route. All I can say is that Mac users are THIEVES"

Not from Apple (1)

nullard (541520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3895081)

Well, personally I love this thing. And since it's from Apple ...

This might be funny if it was an Apple product. In reality, it's just a PVR peripheral targeting the Mac market.

reGNUed iNTerest? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894686)

stock FraUD mired ?companIE? worldcom welched on sum 80 milion buks of iNTerest paymeNTs yesterday. kewl huh?

hay buddIE, can you spare a .com? for an old fiend?

what about the quality? (1)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894692)

I haven't researched it, but I don't think USB 1.0 will support the bandwidth for really good quality video.

To this day, I've never seen a good USB 1.0 TV tuner
and I think thats the reason.

save your money and get a 7500/7600 (4, Insightful)

smagoun (546733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894704)

I have a Powermac 7600, which shipped with built-in RCA audio + video inputs, as well as an S-Video input. The video quality is excellent (for a consumer device), and it does full-screen (640x480) playback without any of the ugliness I've seen from most USB capture devices. Granted, this new doodad seems to do MPEG-1 encoding on the device, but I'll take a raw stream over MPEG any day.

So that's the video input part, on a machine that's 6+ years old. The Tivo part can be done with a bit of script magic (Applescript, perl, whatever) or tools like BTV from bensoftware [bensoftware.com] . You can encode to MPEG/cinepak/whatever on the fly, or later on. If you don't need the Tivo part, Apple's software does a good job of recording things.

Total cost is about $50 these days, and I'll bet the quality is better.

Re:save your money and get a 7500/7600 (2)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894783)


Total cost is about $50 these days

The only problem with that scenario is that the 7500/7600 had only SCSI on the motherboard, so you'd probably also want/need to slap an IDE card in there so you could use large cheap IDE drives -- and that factor runs up the cost appreciably.

~jeff

corepirate FraUD eXPosed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894710)

VA Lairy pretends IT aiN'T sow.

let's here it for capitollism.

pbpbpbpbpbpb

Satellite input? (1)

sethdelackner (110929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894788)

What I really want is a PVR that includes satellite (Dish and DirecTV) tuners without being tied to a particular provider's service and pro-advertising whims.

Anything you can do... (2)

RedX (71326) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894813)

In the never ending MS vs. Apple game of "Dueling Banjos", this sounds similar to Microsoft's "Freestyle" [microsoft.com] version of XP (aka XP Media Center). Without violating an NDA, I will say that Freestyle is a pretty slick product but doesn't compare to my TiVo. It did finally give me an easy way to play MP3 in the living room though, something I've been too lazy to put together myself. The hardware specs include MPEG-2 encoding card, TV-out connection, firewire, USB, DVD-ROM, CDRW, remote control. It's certainly nothing one of us couldn't do with any PC though.

Apple Created? No (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894818)

Remember, this isn't an Apple product - it's just an OS X-compatible PVR device. Nothing to see here, folks, move along...

USB? Why not FireWire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894827)

Brilliant: A potentially cool device with a poor USB connection.

quicktime broadcaster? (3, Interesting)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894840)


http://www.apple.com/quicktime/products/broadcaste r/ [apple.com]

QuickTime Broadcaster not only encodes video in real-time to MPEG-4 over a network, but will also save a file to disk as well. And the app is AppleScriptable! -- so the only problem now is getting the video (tuned to the appropriate channel) into the machine at the right time. Too bad there's no cheap PCI TV tuners for the Mac...

I've got to think that this approach -- and the El Gato "PVR" for that matter -- is vastly inferior to a "set-it-and-forget-it" tivo.

~jeff

Re:quicktime broadcaster? (2)

Space Coyote (413320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894940)

Too bad there's no cheap PCI TV tuners for the Mac...

Speaking of which, how hard would it be to port some of the video4linux code over to Darwin/BSD anyway? Seems like a weekend job for someone who knows a little about how Darwin works..

Isn't this a job for Apple itself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894841)

I wonder if Apple shouldn't take the job of providing means for a tv tuner and tivo-like functionalities right inside macs. It would cost nothing in terms of hardware to provide that (the actual tv/fm tuner and pci encoder costs less than $50), and with a decent 'iTv' software, things like the new iMac could be what it's advertised for, a complete multimedia station.

If that could be the reality, i would buy a 17' or 21' iMac (when it gets available) and use it as a desktop [lamp], tv, radio, cd/dvd player, etc.

Looks Like a Great Product (2)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894868)

I've had an old ixMICRO TV tuner card in my B/W G3 for a couple of years. Works well, but has a slight problem in that the company that made it went belly up, and there is no Mac OS X software for it.

Since then, there were next to ZERO Macintosh TV tuners out there for Mac OS X use. ATI appears to have one, but its feature set is limited. Eskape Labs has been working on its MyTV OS X software for over a year now, and was in the running for my money until EyeTV showed up.

A USB TV tuner is a good fit. It doesn't suck up a precious PCI slot. It can be moved to any computer with cable hookup and USB. Works great with older or laptop Macs. Fits everyone I need for my new home.

The PTR features are a bonus, but will be very much appreciated. The price can't be beat, either. Competitive products will cost up to $1000 since they have internal hard drives. EyeTV appears to balance the abilities of the Mac with the features of a basic PTR.

The RCA video inputs also allow you to use the computer as a quickie display for today's game consoles such as PlayStation, or a basic video input for your camera.

Not a bad price at $199 (during Macworld, only $179), and the product quality looks good. While FireWire may seem a logical choice, it's overkill--USB has more than enough bandwidth. The only thing you need is to keep some drive space clear.

Biggest flaw - No TV out ports! (2, Insightful)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894906)

The biggest problem with the EyeTV is not its choice of USB over Firewire but its lack of RCA/S-Video outputs. I don't want to watch TV on my computer!

From what I've heard the software is top notch, free TV guide, ability to pause live TV, etc... but its useless unless you like to watch all of your shows in a tiny window on your computer's screen.

No Repeating Recordings? (i.e., TiVo Season Pass) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894921)

There seems to be no mention of repeating a recording. That is, it seems you have to program this like an ordinary VCR. Once per program recording. If this is the case, this is far from a TiVo like DVR. Is this feature present? Their crappy grid-like interface and silence on this issue in their FAQ might suggest a lack of this important feature. Anyone know?

Beyond the lame MPEG-1/USB issues, the UI and lack of critical Repeating Recordings makes this a dud (assuming it is missing that is).

Re:No Repeating Recordings? (i.e., TiVo Season Pas (2)

pudge (3605) | more than 12 years ago | (#3894967)

If you had read the links, you'd know that this box uses an external service, titanTV, for scheduling. SO perhaps you could check out titanTV [titantv.com] for more information about what can be done.

Any chance of a Macworld Blackout? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3894962)

Hey, is there any chance that /. could implement a voluntary blackout of all Apple-related rumors? Heck, you could even turn it into a subscriber feature, where you leave the stories in the submission bins until after the keynote addresses, since subscribers have access to the bins (I think).
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