John Ross

EyeTV 3 EPG subscription

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When I finally resigned myself to resubscribing last November (after gritting my teeth about the utterly terrible maintenance; the EPG guide stopped updating yesterday - AGAIN), I found that it is no longer possible to renew your subscription from EyeTV 3 - you have to do it from an installation of EyeTV 4, although both versions will use the same EPG. I installed Mojave, which allows me to run both EyeTV3 and EyeTV 4; I do the troubleshooting from 4, and then do all my viewing/editing from the lighter-weight 3, which is much easier to use.

Of course, at the moment, I have no program information at all; if the last outage (which lasted for months) is repeated, I may bail on the application altogether and just use HDHomeRun's native app that supports my hardware tuners. I don't like it much, but a TV app you can't use to schedule recordings without referring to an independent program source is a TV app that isn't worth paying for.

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HDHomeRun is a networked TV tuner (Ethernet connection for the Mac-compatible models; I think there may be a Windows-compatible model with WiFi built in) from the SiliconDust company near me in Livermore, California (the east side of San Francisco Bay):

They have sites for the Canadian, UK, European, Australian, New Zealand and Brazilian markets, so presumably they have tuners available that will work with the broadcast systems in those countries.

The tuners will connect to a cable/satellite feed or an over-the-air antenna. They encode the video feed and send an MPEG feed to a computer/handheld device through the LAN. I find that you need fairly fast WiFi (802.11ac minimum, 802.11ax is better) in order to transfer the video stream well; I normally watch on a laptop attached to the tuner through gigabit Ethernet.

ElGato used to sell a bundle that included two EyeTV 3 licenses and an HDHomeRun HDHR-3 tuner, shortly before ElGato sold EyeTV off to Geniatech. EyeTV compatibility with some HDHR tuners was maintained through most of the late builds of EyeTV 3.6.9, with the conspicuous exception of Build (7524). With the pre-release betas of EyeTV 4, compatibility flipped back and forth through the build process. I was especially thrilled to discover that a late beta of 4 supported all four built-in tuners in my HDHomeRun Quatro, as EyeTV 3 will only recognize two of the tuners.

But the final release of 4 eliminated HDHomeRun support altogether 😖  I complained long and loud, and got the usual Geniatech disclaimer: "We may consider this at some (unspecified) time in the future". In an attempt to get it working, I dug into the package of a late version of 3.6.9, copied out the HDHomeRun driver, copied into the analogous location in the 4 package and edited the .plist. Didn't work.

Eventually, somewhere around EyeTV 4.0.0 (8514), HDHomeRun snuck back in. But now it only recognizes two of the four built-in tuners. Geniatech giveth, and Geniatech taketh away.

HDHomeRun makes its own Mac-compatible software, but the interface is clumsy; the programming information appears in the main window, so it crowds what you're trying to watch. Their DVR function is a paid subscription service that stores the recordings on a server - not the sort of thing EyeTV users particularly like. I've got about 8TB of EyeTV recordings stored on hard drives, waiting for the time I finally get around to trimming them and exporting them as Quicktime or whatever.

One upside to a network tuner independent of a media server is that you can access the TV feed with an iOS device using the Channels app. Typically, if I'm in my bedroom trying to watch something, I'll use Channels on an iPad instead of EyeTV on a laptop; Channels uses a downscaled feed that works better with WiFi.

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