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May 13, 2003

EyeTV 45 days in...

The EyeTV has been a pretty successful purchase. I can now watch The Daily Show when I want, and I've made Sophie a DVD with MPEG movies of some of her favorite shows she can watch on any of three computers in the house.

I have some issues with the way the software works. It expects that you'll be capturing and viewing shows on the same box. I'm not. It's a pain to locate and transfer particular shows to a different computer. Within its application, EyeTV uses a thumbnail view so you can tell shows apart, but they're, well, smaller than a thumbnail. Until you've watched the show in the EyeTV player, there isn't even a thumbnail, just a large red "NEW". Better would be to choose a random frame, then overlay a small "NEW".

You're expected to manage all your content from within the EyeTV app, but you can't organize things in any order other than chronological. I, for one, would like to see them ordered by program, and to let me use some metadata to sort by a variety of criteria.

EyeTV stores the raw .MPG files on your drive, along with some related files. The names are very long hexadecimal names, like "00000000046f1b85.mpg", and the folders are named similarly, so it's very hard to tell what's what. It would be better if the folder got the name you gave the program being recorded, and each episode appended a date-based string to ensure uniqueness.

I really want it to operate like an Ethernet version of the box Samsung is developing for Comcast that's essentially a Tivo plus a video router, so you can pull up a menu and watch shows from elsewhere in your house.

Looked at another way, the EyeTV should be a television equivalent to iTunes, and I want the new iTunes networking features built-in. I know I'll have trouble streaming TV from home over an ADSL connection, but I would like to be able to a) review the available programming, and b) call up a stream of a chosen show from other computers in the house over 802.11 or good old 100Base-T. It's okay if this uses Rendezvous, but it would be nice if I could also stream to a Windows box, which suggests a web front end and QuickTime.

On a related note, I should be able to program the box remotely to tape a show or not to tape a show. This could be in conjunction with the guide provider, where I update a web page that the EyeTV box checks, or simply by connecting directly over the network.

May 13, 2003 in General computing | Permalink


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if you want to program your eyetv remotely, you can try eyeTV RPM (remote programmer).
it is still in beta but it works for me...
good luck!

Posted by: mr10 at Aug 26, 2003 7:48:53 AM