blech – and ARGH!

30Jun06

well my getting rid of the tv and just using the imac thing for entertainment has only been mildly successful. no, i haven’t bought a new tv, but i did buy a tv receiver for my imac. i figured i could hook my mac up to my cable (which we have because we have cable internet) and have it record shows like my tivo. right? so wrong.

i did a reasonable amout of research and bought an eyetv EZ. it’s a tiny little box that just feeds a cable signal into your mac through the usb port. it does nothing except pass the signal through, which means your computer has to do all the lifting to watch or record shows. this is not a problem. the eyetv software is universal, so it takes full advantage of the intel core duo and handles that crap with aplomb. i had read how aweseomely it handled these tasks and thought “cool, i’m getting one.”

what i hadn’t read about until it started happening to me were all the problems with the eyetv EZ. like how if the eyetv software is running and your computer tries to go to sleep it will cause a kernel panic and just freeze with the screen off, forcing you to restart your mac the hard way. or how sometimes the software won’t see that the eyetv box is connected and so it won’t record the show you programmed it to. and how you’ll have to unplug the eyetv box and replug it in for it to work again. or how the recording is based on schedules and not show name, so if, for instance two new episodes of it’s always sunny in philadelphia are on back to back and you only chose a season pass for the first timeslot then it won’t record the second.

i can go on too. not about stuff that’s critically flawed, but just annoying. like how if you want VGA mpeg4 files, first you have to record in mpeg 2 and then tell the software to export it to the type of file you want. you can have it automagically transcode files to be ipod compatible, but that again mean 320 x 240. and the transcoding is SLOW. or how if you want to use the built in editing software to take out the commercials in a show you recorded (which is a very nice feature), the parts you want to delete are indicated in green in the timeline, while the parts you want to save are blue.

maybe eyetv will improve the experiece. if they could just stop the kernel panic issue and make sure that the software found the box every time it started up, i would probably be able to live with the rest. but right now i cannot live with this. so, well, basically it sucks. i now have a completely unreliable tivo replacement. and after years of the awesomeness that is tivo, that’s a tough pill to swallow. which makes me think maybe i should just can it altogether and just go for downloading shows via bittorrent. i honestly would use legal means like the itunes store except all those only do QVGA video – 320 x 240, which is gonna look pretty crappy full screen on my 1680 x 1050 imac screen.

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One Response to “blech – and ARGH!”

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