EyeTV + MPEG Streamclip + HandBrake = Apple TV Solution
I own an EyeTV 250 Plus TV Tuner from Elgato that I use to record material (mainly movies) off of TV. There is however a problem with the EyeTV software – it lacks support for Dolby Digital (AC3) when exporting to QuickTime formats. So here is my solution.
- Record content (HD or SD) via EyeTV
- Using MPEG Streamclip open up the stream. You’ll have to go to “Open Files” and select “All Files” under view. Then go to where your EyeTV recordings are stored and open up the file. You’ll see a list of files with numbers for names. Find that one that says .mpg
- In preferences, select “Fix Streams with Data Breaks”.
- Under file select “Convert to TS”. This will create a .ts file. In the process it will also fix any breaks in the stream that would otherwise cause HandBrake to goof up the conversion. You don’t HAVE to take this extra step as HandBrake can handle the EyeTV files directly, but it’s a good idea as a precaution.
- Using HandBrake open the .ts file. Here you have a wealth of options depending on what you want to do with the file. For my purposes I’m exporting to Apple TV. If I’m working with SD content I start with the Apple TV preset, and make sure I turn deinterlacing on (under picture settings). For working with HD material you’ve got a choice to make – either make it 1280*720p @ 24 fps or 960*540p @ 30 fps. Since I’m mainly recording movies I have figured out this work around. Most movie content is natively 24 fps, and using HandBrake you can ask it to convert it for you. Under picture settings there is a box that says “VFR”. If you check that, HandBrake will be on the look out for the tell-tale signs that something that is technically 30 frames per second (as most TV broadcasts are) is really 24 frames per second. If you know your HD content is natively 30 fps, you’ll need to opt down for the 950*540 resolution.
- Tag with MetaX and import into iTunes for viewing on your Apple TV!