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Reader EyeTV Tips/Portable MPEG1 Video PlayerReturn to News Page

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Reader EyeTV Tips, Comments on Portable MPEG1 Video Player
Posted: 11/21/2002

A reader sent a long email with "EyeTV Tips and Tricks" as the subject line, but also included comments on a portable MPEG1 Movie/MP3/JPEG player (notebook drive based) with media card slots, burning EyeTV movies to DVD-R and more. (copy of the email follows)

" Hi Mike!
I've lurked here for years and you've helped me immensely, so it time for me to give back. I purchased an EyeTV as soon as it became available and I've worked out some techniques that work very well I want to share them.

I started using EyeTV on my iBook. It works much better than I expected. I've had no problems with schedule activation and timing. The only issue that plagued me was if EyeTV ran out of room on its storage drive it crashed and would wipe out all the future program schedules. My solution to that problem was to get a high-speed cd burner and back the recorded programs to cds. I developed a work around for tracking the program files, since EyeTV uses its own internal coding system to name the files. I simply Copy and Paste the program title from EyeTV's Programs window onto a new folder and then move the recorded program folder into that folder. I move ALL the files into that titled folder - I DO NOT do the VCD or Quicktime export. Since I haven't found a way to efficiently edit mp1 files, I keep the files that have the information for EyeTV so I can use its 30 second skip features later. It works nicely - 1 cd for 1 program - 4 minute burn in Toast. I can play the video from the cd by dircectly accessing the mp1 file on my iBook. You can't use the 30 second skip feature, but the file plays fine with the Quicktime player.

Today I purchased a DVD player that can play the hundreds of cds I've made this way! This DVD player is a Mintek 1600, and I paid $49.95 for it at Best Buy! I found a review of it here, so I decided to try it out. It doesn't appear to have a 30 second skip, but it will do a 16X fast forward.

I also recently purchased an iMac 15" with the Superdrive and I started using the Superdrive to do data backups of EyeTV files - 6 - 1 hour shows per DVD-R. The Mintek 1600 will play those disks, too. I'm using the cheapest DVD-R media I could find. I bought the Ritek brand DVD-R for $83 per 100 from Supermediastore.com. The Mintek DVD player will play the mp1 (MPEG-1) original files created by EyeTV - these are NOT VCD files. It will also play mp3 audio files. It doesn't read the ID3 tags, just the file names. I haven't tried this, yet - but I read a review that said the Mintek 1600 will read and play a DVD-R audio disk - take your mp3 files and burn it to the DVD-R and have almost 4.7GB of music files that it will play.

Another device I tested and found works pretty well is this freaky little device from Computer Geeks.
(Portable Digital Data Player for MP3s, MPEG-1, and JPEGs, $200 w/o notebook hard drive-Mike).
I originally purchased it so I can back up my compactflash cards when I'm in the field. It comes without an internal hard drive, but I upgraded my iBook drive (thanks for the help doing that!) so I had a 10GB drive lying around. For $200 I had 10GB of extra storage for my Canon G2 camera. Not a bad deal...
The V-MP3H has an internal battery and will copy a compactflash card to the internal drive, then play whatever the file is. It will play mp3, mp1 or jpg files. It has standard video/audio out jacks and a USB connection. When attached to a Mac or PC it acts as a USB 1.1 compactflash reader and an external hard drive. I can copy the same EyeTV files to the V-MP3H and it will also play them.
You can watch them on the built in 2.5 inch LCD or use the video out to watch it on a regular TV. A note on EyeTV video quality - I suspect most people who complain about the video quality are watching it on their computer monitors. I often use the video out port on my iBook to watch the video on an NTSC TV - the video looks just like a VHS tape recorded in SP. It does appear soft and murky on my iBook and iMac LCDs, but it looks fine on regular TVs.

I purchased EyeTV instead of Tivo, and I'm glad I did. No monthly fees, and now it costs me $0.83 to archive 6 hours of video that will play back on my DVD player.
J.D. W."

For other EyeTV owner reports/comments, see our previous EyeTV feedback page.

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