EyeTV 3.0.2 has added a new playback engine for H.264 video. H.264 is a very efficient codec, that can create high quality images with a low file size and bit rate. H.264 is increasingly used for DVB broadcasts, and EyeTV’s new engine can play SDTV and HDTV resolutions in that format.
Decoding the incoming H.264 stream for playback in EyeTV takes more CPU power than earlier formats, like MPEG-2. This means a modern dual processor G5 or dual core Mac is the minimum needed for the best performance.
EyeTV offers the option to further improve the image via the Display Preferences, and the Deinterlacing settings. These settings, especially Progressive Scan, will further increase the CPU power needed for good playback.
If the H.264 video signal has any drop-outs or distortions, then the resulting EyeTV playback may have missing frames. This is due to the exacting nature of H.264 broadcasts – a minimal data loss can have a large effect.
When using EyeTV to capture and display H.264 streams, please be aware of how your Mac’s CPU strength, along with your EyeTV Preferences and overall signal strength and quality, can adversely affect playback.
Our engineers are exploring ways to optimize the H.264 playback, so that a wider variety of Macs can play such content. Such optimizations should be available in future updates to EyeTV.