jny’s Mac mini media centre blog


First EyeTV glitches encountered

Filed under: Experience — jny @ 21:13

The other day EyeTV just stopped working and restarting didn’t help. I had to boot the mini to get it working again.

Another thing that has been happening is the responding to the remote just stops. Restarting EyeTV helps.

The third glitch was the worst. The recording of one movie got corrupted somehow. It seemed to loop back to the beginning before reaching the end. The end of Kill Bill 2 was lost.

I downgraded EyeTV to 2.4.1 hoping to get rid of the glitches. I never had problems with 2.4.1 on my PoerBook. On the other hand I never had it running for very long.




Filed under: Experience — jny @ 12:46

Using WLAN from computer to computer doesn’t work in practice for some reason. The transfers progress in bursts with long pauses between which means that they are very slow. Downloads from the Internet are a lot better and progress smoothly without bursts.

This is probably a problem with my Linksys WRT54G. In my opinion it is a worthless piece of crap. It needs resetting at least once a day when there are more than one computers connected to the network as it very often just freezes.

Maybe it is time to start looking for a replacement.



Filed under: Experience — jny @ 23:23

I learned a new abbreviation today while discussing media centres with colleagues. They have all been setting up Linux boxes with Myth TV. It seems you can build quite a lot more complicated systems with Myth TV. You can have back-ends, front ends, smart card readers and more.

The term is WAF or Wife Acceptance Factor. It is a measure of how nerdy you need to be to operate the system. For example opening an SSH connection to your digi box and running init commands does not come with a high WAF.

I would say that our current Mac mini set-up has a good WAF on the style side but a little bit low WAF on the usability side. Need to look at means for improving the total WAF…



Filed under: Experience — jny @ 8:00

The keyboard
The keyboard actually works. Before taking it back, I found a brief leaflet in the package. There was a radio channel synchronisation sequence that you had to perform to get it working. It required pushing two small buttons, that’s all.



Day 2

Filed under: Experience — jny @ 19:44

Some highlights from day 2:

  • Mrs jny uses the “box” on her own for the first time and sees how easy it is to record TV shows, even overlapping programmes.
  • I got iTunes running and subscribed to a few video podcasts.
  • I set up remote desktop and tested it with JollysFastVNC. It works OK but is quite slow over the WiFi.
  • I downloaded VLC but didn’t test it.
  • I got the idea to start this blog.
  • I looked up some links I found on using the Mac mini as a media centre.
  • The wireless keyboard still doesn’t work…


Some complaints

Filed under: Experience — jny @ 21:30

EyeTV remoteThis has nothing to do with the Mac or EyeTV, but all with the old analogue TV. Picture quality really stinks. From the Mac, there is a DVI to S-video/composite adapter. The composite cable goes to an S-video/composite to SCART adapter that is plugged to the TV. I tried the S-video too but the quality was worse. Especially the text got really bad.

I can still accept the picture quality but for my wife it was a big disappointment compared to the old DTT receiver.

The second complaint concerns the EyeTV remote. It could really be more intuitive or have more labels. Perhaps we will get used to it with time.

The EyeTV full-screen mode displays a windowed error dialogue if you try to change channels when recording at the same time. You have to use the keyboard to close the dialogue. This is a user interface miss in my opinion.

The on-screen controller is shown too often when in full-screen mode. If the error dialogue mentioned above is shown, the controller is shown and placed on-top of the OK-button. Grrr.

Finally, I just cannot get the wireless keyboard to work. I’m going to return it. There is something rattling loose in the USB-dongle-radio thingie.


Filed under: Experience — jny @ 18:30

SuccessDisconnecting the old equipment and connecting the mini took longer than I thought, making me a little bit impatient when finally starting the Mac.

During initial set-up the first problem surfaced: the wireless media keyboard, an Ione Scorpius P20 media keyboard, didn’t work. This is an initial set-up glitch, I thought. Perhaps the drivers are not loaded yet? Luckily I have an Apple USB-keyboard and mouse so I just plugged them in.

The rest of the set-up and installation went just fine as it usually does on a Mac and the box was tuck into the correct place and up and running in an hour or so. All fine this far. The mini is really quiet. In practice you don’t hear a sound from it. EyeTV works well, channel switching is fast and generally all TV-related features seem to work.


Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.