HDHomeRun Replaces EyeTV 500
When I read about HDHomeRun being integrated into EyeTV’s software, I immediately ordered one from El Gato. I’ve been using two EyeTV 500 units to watch and record OTA HDTV programming for a while on my Mac HTPC and have been quite satisfied with the set-up. So, why the change? A few VERY compelling reasons.
1. The 500s use Firewire to connect to a single computer. While this is exponentially better than a USB connection, it limits live television to a single computer (I know there are ways around this via streaming in VLC, but they don’t pass the PITA test for my set-up).
The HDHomeRun connects via ethernet to my home network’s router and allows me to watch live TV on any computer connected to the internet that has EyeTV’s software installed.
EyeTV even manages the tuners, tossing up a message when another computer is using a tuner. This is light years beyond how the GUI deals with multiple EyeTV units.
2. The HDHR unit incorporates two tuners into a single small unit. The two 500s are giant by comparison.
3. The HDHomerun package was around $200 and I’ll be able to sell the 500s for more than that on Ebay, creating a net savings. This is always a consideration when acquiring new electronic equipment.
All this means nothing without performance equal to my current set-up, of course. But the HDHR has proved to be more than capable of exceeding the dual 500s.
- Recorded simultaneous shows
- Watched one channel while recording on another
- Viewed live shows on different computers
- Played back a recording while both tuners recorded
As I’ve mentioned before, using two EyeTV units as been a somewhat bumpy road. Interacting with the HDHR has been a pleasure by comparison. In particular, the Preferences interface offers signal strength info on both tuners in one place
Overall, only time will show if the HDHR will integrate into my Mac successfully. But, given the unstable foundation dual tuners created, I’m enthusiastic about the prospects!