Wii Via EyeTV: The sequal

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Today I will update yuz all on playing my Wii via my iMac using EyeTV. But first…

Rocketboom showed a clip from the BBC Two comedy “Look around you” yesterday and didn’t seem to realise, I think they might have even thought it was from a genuine science experiment. Silly billy’s.  It was from the first season of the show, which I recommend everyone to grab the DVD of.  But avoid the 2nd season which was a “Tomorrows World” spoof and was pants.

supermario.pngThe massive problem I was reporting with creeping latency was resolved by updating my EyeTV software from 2.3.2 to 2.3.3, I was a little miffed that I had to be told about the new version because the software is supposed to be self updating.  Grr.

There is still a small amount of latency naturally, but it is now unnoticeable in almost all 2 games I have lol.

But, when I downloaded Super Mario Brothers from the virtual console the latency issue came back, albeit it in a slightly different flavour.

In super mario bros. after playing for about 30-60 seconds the controls begin to feel heavy, and jumping becomes difficult to judge.  But what’s different to what was happening in all things in 2.3.2 is that after minute or less the software seems to realise the problem and catches up with a sudden jolt. It’s then perfectly playable for a further minute or so, before the latency creeps back again, it comes and goes the rest of the game.

Some of the older virtual console games have a particularly low resolution, which you can see from the 100% pixel crop of the screenshot.  So i’m now theorising that this exotic video mode could be confusing the de-interlacing in EyeTV.  Occasionally if I switch to composite from Tuner mode whilst this mario game is running the output goes nuts, flickering like crazy as if it can’t quite work out how to deal with it.  So I turned de-interlacing off, the latency issue is lesser but still happens.  Still, i’m sure there’s something about this old NES resolution thats confusing things
Again, this is now restricted to just super mario bros. (that I know of).  It’s most interesting!

Another thing, apparently S-Video looks better on the EyeTV software than Composite does, but unlike most other console’s that I’ve known, the Wii doesn’t come with S-VIDEO. Even worse, you can’t even buy the cable here in the UK.  I dunno why, they have them in Japan, just not here.  Double Grr.

Wii Via EyeTV

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Why write when you can hide? Been playing Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii far too much than is healthy. Clocked up about 22 hours on my saved game already! Ouch.

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Yeah, I’ve been hogging the Wii and now Pikachu is annoyed ‘cos he likes to play on it too.I play via the EyeTV Hybrid ‘cos my iMac’s screen is the only convenient one in the house, other than those that others are watching TV on all day. A FAQ on Elgato’s website mentions gaming and states that there’s only a delay of “a few milliseconds” making it ideal for gaming. So this is what I was expecting but alas it appears they aren’t being entirely honest. It’s quite easy to tell what the latency is with the wii because of all the feedback the controller gives, for instance it vibrates when you hover over a button whilst at the same time the main sound output make a tick sound. Well, from my experience with latency settings on pro audio software I’d say the delay from the vibration to the tick sound is close to around 100 milliseconds. The last time I checked 100 doesn’t equate to “a few”.

Also, occasionally when you play it the latency has drifted a bit, which must be a bug because the cpu load is always minimal when I run it. But that doesn’t surprise me, I could write a novel about the bugs EyeTV has.

EyeTV Hybrid Experiences

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My EyeTV Hybrid arrived today. I’ll tell you what, it’s a good job I didn’t get the DVB-T only version despite being a lot cheaper because as expected I get sod all Freeview here, it does detect the existence of a couple of Freeview channels, just the BBC ones (do they have preference where freeview frequencies are concerned?) but it can’t make head nor tail of them. To be fair my room hasn’t a roof-top aerial connection, I have to use a portable, but I did also try it on the house aerial downstairs via the iBook and it still had no luck.
So, I’m having to use its analogue support which still gets you the quality EPG via a web service and recording facilities so woo. From a portable aerial my reception is barely watchable… as expected. After a mammoth amount of hunting through old cables and shit I found a CAT5 splitter from many years ago so I was able to see if there was anything pick-up-able from the Telewest cable, which my cable modem is using. Hey, who’d have thunk it, Telewest are still transmitting a couple of analogue channels. Analogue cable TV has always been pretty grainy and a little washed out but its preferable to all the wierd ass atmospheric interference I’m getting from the aerial. The channels I get are BBC One, BBC Two, Channel 4, ITV1 and bizarrely a channel which seems to be Bloomburg during the morning and early afternoon and E4 the rest of the day. I cannot fathom why i’d be able to find that, and not say Channel 5?

I’m finding the software to be neat and well designed but during the messing, re-scanning and all that it did crash a few times, or as the mac puts it, unexpectedly closed.

It isn’t quite as streamlined and intuitive as a PVR, for instance you can’t just pause live tv any time you like, it isn’t always recording so you have to press record before you can pause it. Although, confusingly when it isn’t recording pause will do “freeze frame” which at first looks like it’s paused but when you press pause again it will jump to whats happening now and you’ll have missed what had happened meanwhile.

I’m disappointed with EyeTV’s apple remote interface. It feel’s obviously not integrated with front-row despite them trying hard to mimic Apples interface. Also, I appreciate that the Apple remote is rather lacking in buttons but even still they could have done better to make the most of it. Up/down does volume and left/right does seek. If you do Seek when record isn’t running or you aren’t playing something back it just flashes up “not applicable” or words to that effect, you would have thought it more sensible to make left/right do something else useful whilst seek isn’t applicable, especially when stupidly if you want to change channel you have to press “menu” to go back to the menu screen, which makes good old channel surfing a total chore.

EyeTV Hybrid please

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I need to go on a publicity drive, yesterday Social Meter was all the buzz and just go a look how unpopular my blog is lol. I’ll still carry on blogging, and I don’t think I even mind that much, but it would still be a nice if someone read this damn thing.

Hold on, it’s in even more of a state than it was yesterday, there was just under 100 google links, now there’s none. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t take that thing seriously.

It’s a good day on the MAMPtel front, mysql.org have finally made available universal mac versions of all their tools. Previously the Query Browser was only PPC and it had many a bug when run through rosetta. They’ve also now tied up all the tools into one download, they don’t even seem to offer them individually anymore which is odd.

I’m stuck on Zelda 3. I’ve reached the dark world, and there’s this eejit boss who wears some kind of head armour you have to bash with a hammer, it’s driving me mad, I just know I’ve come close to chinning the bastard but that just makes it all the more annoying. UGH, games!

Stick Pic1I am so so so so so so so so so tempted to get an EyeTV Hybrid. As I’ve said before i’m sure, freeview reception is still in a dire state in Sheffield but we do plan to move soon, and also it’s only a matter of time before the reception is improved, although we might have to wait for analogue to be shutdown. Anypoop, the hybrid looks great, you just stick it in a USB port exactly like the EyeTV 2 for DTT, and has the same great (or so i’ve heard) software but it supports both Analogue TV as well as Freeview. So I could get it now and put up with analogue until I can pick up freeview. And I’m kinda desperate because I don’t have a TV of my own at the moment, nor do I want one ruining the feng shui or whatever you call it of my room, mind you I’ve put up without for this far and it is kinda a nice feeling not to own a TV.
Another useful thing, it also has composite/S-VIDEO input so I could use it to play consoles. I’m really looking forward to the Wii, but I won’t have anything to play it through so this would probably do the trick quite nicely. Oh course, it won’t be HD (is the Wii even HD?) but I don’t care that much.

Anyway, yeah, I really really want one but I can’t find it anywhere except this one place who seem to be over charging for it by about 20 or so quid. I guess I need to wait for the other stores to get them in before bargains can be sought.

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