hdtv playback performance - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-22-2007, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got a new mac mini core duo 1.83 with 1gig of memory and Miglia TVMini HD. I noticed watching hdtv 1080i content uses around 60% to 80% of the cpu (looking through the activity monitor.) The quality is not exactly silky smooth like cable but its not dropping tons of frames either. So, its acceptable but not great Is this about what every body is seeing? Would upgrading to a core 2 duo T7600 2.33 chip help? I'm running it on a Samsung 61" DLP HDTV.

thanks
--bill
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-22-2007, 01:40 PM
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Bill--if it's saying 60-80% realize that is out of 200%, so that's not bad CPU-wise. A gig of RAM should be fine. Whatever problem you're experiencing is likely due to the Miglia and USB. Can you check the stream info and compare it to your QAM signal? If you have a cable box you can usually find that in the hidden menu screens--pressing a few buttons on the front of the STB will get you inside. Find the thread in the HDTV forums for your particular STB model to tell you how.

What I record through my EyeTV500s--either QAM or OTA-- is identical (every bit as "silky smooth") to what I record via another QAM/OTA recorder (the LG 3410A) and it's identical to watching live via my Comcast SA3250. I'm recording and playing back with a 1.83 core duo Macbook and a Sammy DLP. But then that's firewire, not USB...and our local Comcast has a pretty good HD signal quality wise. They haven't started playing games with it, yet.

Have you recorded ATSC with the device and compared?
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-22-2007, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that this is OTA. I tried QAM/cable and didn't get any channels. To verify the cable issue, I plugged the cable directly into my tv and only got 4 channels. I leave in Long Beach and have Charter and digital subscription.

Too bad they don't make the eyetv500 anymore. I guess the 250 would be my other choice, yes?
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-22-2007, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, is there a difference between USB and firewire tuner devices? I found only one post saying that the person didn't trust the bus power on the USB.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-22-2007, 03:09 PM
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My Mother-in-law lives in Long Beach, actually Seal Beach, and when we set her HDTV up a year or two ago (with Adelphia then) I remember the OTA being pretty good. I just tested it, then had her go through her cable for convenience sake.

Have you verified with other cable subscribers in your local HD discussion thread that you're only supposed to get 4 QAM channels in the clear? And when you record a channel OTA and play it back, watch that channel live via OTA, and then watch that channel live via cable--the cable image is the better one?? (Most will say OTA surpasses QAM.) Which inputs are you using for your Mac and the Charter STB?

Sometimes HDTVs have prickly built-in tuners, especially the QAM tuner--so make sure you verify everything via the EyeTV and Miglia--don't just rely on the Sammy. Check in your thread, get the actual QAM frequencies, then add those channels manually if you have to within EyeTV.

When all is said and done, I suspect it'll still be a Miglia/USB related. But last thing you want to do is go in with a self-fulfilling prophecy in mind.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-22-2007, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Actually, is there a difference between USB and firewire tuner devices? I found only one post saying that the person didn't trust the bus power on the USB.

Plenty of threads already discuss the differences and feature sets.

Bill--as with anything AV related, it's always best to experience things first hand, to use the devices, live with them for a period of time, etc. Don't just play around with them for a couple of days like the reviewers in Macworld or AMUG, and when it comes to this class of device they usually aren't critically informed: in this case that means comparing these USB devices directly to the firewire devices, hooking them up to the same big HDTVs, the same Macs, and running stress tests.
We've had a couple of favorable reports of that Miglia here--but one very experienced user here, who owns somewhere between 6 and 9 EyeTV500s, I can't remember, purchased that Miglia early on and checked it out. Without reservation he thinks it's a poor device COMPARED TO the EyeTV500. What you have to do is rule out everything unrelated to that Miglia--to better demonstrate that the problems you're experiencing ARE due to the Miglia or USB.

500s pop up for auction and on Craigslist all the time, should that Miglia eventually not work out for you. The 200 was the firewire model for non-HD cable, the 250 was USB.
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