back to article Elgato EyeTV 310 HD satellite TV tuner

Elgato’s EyeTV 310 isn’t an entirely new product, but the recent launch of the Freesat satellite TV service has made it a bit more interesting for TV addicts here in the UK. Elgato EyeTV 310 Elgato's EyeTV 310: now available over here Most of the EyeTV range consists of conventional TV tuners – such as the recently …

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  1. Anonymous John

    Er, no.

    "The BBC’s solitary HD channel is broadcast free of charge over Freesat, "

    It's certainly broadcast free of charge, but "all" Freesat adds is the EPG (electronic programme Guide). This is not a Freesat box.

    "And since Humax's promised Freesat HD capable DVR is set to retail for around £299,"

    It's already been launched for £293 (with 15% VAT), although in very short supply at present.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not Freesat

    This receiver is NOT a Freesat receiver (as defined by the recently launched BBC/ITV service). It is a FTA receiver and so you will NOT get the very good EPG that is available on Freesat receivers. As it isn't a true Freesat receiver it will NOT receive HDTV from ITV and at this time it also won't receive HDTV from C4.

    It also isn't a Freesat receiver as defined by Sky so it won't receive the Sky EPG and most of the HDTV channels available on Sky.

    I'd hate people to spend a very large amount of money on a product that does hardly anything!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    "the only one available for the Mac" ?????

    Ok, I think that the research was lacking a bit here. I've got a Terratec Cinergy S USB which, apart from the CI slot (which by the way, won't work with Sky, i.e. the only such service you'd use in the UK, anyhow) does exactly the same ... on a Mac ... using the same software (Eyetv) ... for £80, including BBC HD. It even goes over USB as a bonus.

    There are several others that will work with a Mac and the Eyetv software as well. In fact you can get a list of them on (funnily enough) the Eyetv website with around 2 clicks of the mouse!

    http://www.elgato.com/elgato/int/mainmenu/products/software/EyeTV-3/product3.en.html

  4. Paul

    but what about the software?

    The most useful aspect of FreeSat is full EPG support for all participating channels and the heart of a PVR is its programme guide. Would have been nice to see some comment on how well the software side works, with both FreeSat and the wider channel universe.

    Meanwhile over here in PC land DVB-S tuners aren't rare or expensive, though S2 support is currently thin on the ground. Doesn't look like Apple will ever escape their pricey reputation :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternatives and EPG

    EPG on the 310 is provided by tvtv and stored in a database (15 days in advance). The database is fully searchable which is a great way to get informations about TV schedules and to schedule recordings.

    As a sidenote Digital Everywhere as a box that is very similar to the EyeTV310 (in fact it is a perfect twin), the FireDTV S2. This box is supported by the EyeTV software on the Mac and is provided with software for Windows (The EyeTV 310 only works under Mac OS X)

  6. Ross Fleming

    Big files

    "EyeTV also allows you to convert those MPEG 2 files into other formats, such as the more compact H.264 format used by portable devices such as the iPod and PlayStation Portable, and we were able to squash our test files down to about 20MB per minute for standard-definition recordings and 40MB per minute for HD"

    So, does this happen in real time? Or do you need to make room for 150MB/minute and then spend hours compressing it?

  7. mr_greedy

    DVB-S2...

    ..isn't a requirement for h.264 streams.

    Beeb HD already transmits in h.264 doesn't it?

  8. Jon Press

    And while we're carping about accuracy...

    DVB-S2 has nothing to do with H.264. BBC HD is broadcast using H.264 video compression and plain old DVB-S (at present).

  9. Steve Medway
    Thumb Down

    Same tuner can be had for £160

    The same tuner box apart from it being black instead of silver can be had for £160.00. That's £80 cheaper - which is not chump change.... Tell Elgato to stop bullshitting on why the price so high......

    In fact what I'd like to know is why EyeTV3 with a DVB tuner included costs £40 and yet the software on it's own and it's £66.

    I mean for god's sake you can buy the same box (except black) from here :- www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/info_4354.html

    + EyeTV DTT for £40 LESS than the cost of the EyeTV 310HD

    Quite possibly the most piss-poor review by Reg Hardware ever - where's the research?

  10. Mike Parris

    Humax

    Sorry, as I see it, there's no comparison between this and the Humax's Freesat HD capable DVR. With Humax you get 2 tuners and a recorder, whereas this appears to be just a single tuner. Humax have been doing an HD set top box for about £150.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh and another thing...

    As others have already pointed out, you can forget about easily picking up an EPG for the more exotic channels (e.g. BBC HD!) that you've listed because you won't be able to pick up sky's or freesat's.

    They're not available on tvtv, the epg service for Eyetv so you'll quickly be resorting to Radiotime's XMLTV (which can be imported *manually* into eyetv every now and again) service and for other free to air channels you won't be able to find a guide at all!

    Anybody that actually buys this thing for UK satellite tv in favour of the cheaper USB satellite receivers for Macs, needs their head examined!

  12. Angus Millar

    Some comments on previous comments

    AJ

    ""all" Freesat adds is the EPG (electronic programme Guide)."

    Not so. The (BBC/ITV) Freesat channels are on different transponders from the Sky FTA stuff ie there's a lot of apparently wasteful duplication but probably necessary to maintain independence from Sky's ideas of what should be free to air. Where channels are duplicated you can tune in to use either or both.

    AC

    Yes it's not a Freesat receiver and probably can't use the Freesat EPG but I assume it can use Sky's. I have setup 2 (non Freesat) Satellite receivers recently (Pace and Humax) both of which use Sky EPG perfectly. You wouldn't expect this box to handle most of the Sky HD channels since they're sub only but I don't think we'll have to wait too long for more HD on Freesat. Course you still wo't have the rather good Freesat EPG

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    I can't believe...

    ...no-one else has pointed out:

    "It’s a lot bigger too. [...] That means you won’t be slipping it into your bag so that you can watch TV when you’re on the road with your MacBook laptop."

    Looks like all those people who had been optimistically carrying around their MacBooks >and< satellite dishes have been wasting their time!

    // Mines the one with the very, very, very big pockets

  14. Nev Silver badge

    FireDTV

    Looks like an update of the SD FireDTV box I have.

    Except it's been done in white to match Apple kit.

  15. Mark Bowen
    Flame

    ...yeah.and....

    ...shame on ITV for only providing ITV HD on Freesat. I'll remember that when they hold their hand out for a chunk of licence fee payers money too.

  16. Ed

    RE: FireDTV

    You may have noticed that none of apple's current 'kit' is white. Except for their headphones and connectors that is.

  17. Carl

    more extensive list of satellites to choose from

    Choosing which satellite isn't like selecting channels by doing a channel scan on a Freeview box. You have to choose one of the satellites that the dish is pointing at. So if your dish is pointing at 19.2E (I think this is the original Astra 1 constellation) then your chances of getting the Astra 2 satellites at 28.2E are zero.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Setup works fine.

    I've had the earlier EyeTV 300 box for years and now have the functionally identical FireDTV S2 with EyeTV software for Mac.

    1. ITV HD is fine with this setup but it requires editing a plist file in the EyeTV software.

    2. Sky subscription and FTV channels can be watched with the addition of a diablo cam and a sky viewing card. Note that the card will not auto-update so needs to be kept alive by being placed in a sky box overnight once every six weeks or so.

    3. EyeTV software is the dogs bollocks.

  19. David Gosnell

    @Carl

    Motorised dishes can be had for not too much money, and this _might_ drive one...

  20. Nev Silver badge
    Coat

    @Ed RE: FireDTV

    Wow, so sorry. I take it all back.

    Where's my white coat?

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