Bugs & Fixes: Elgato's support solves EyeTV problems

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If you want to watch live television on your Mac, Elgato’s EyeTV Hybrid is currently the most popular product for doing so. For my money, Elgato’s success is not only because it makes well-designed hardware and software, but is also because it offers excellent technical support. If you’re having any trouble with EyeTV, chances are good that you’ll find the solution after a brief search of Elgato’s Web site. Here are two examples:

Where are the Clear QAM channels?

Elgato’s current tuners are capable or receiving Clear QAM channels. This means that, if you have cable, you can receive the digital broadcasts for most non-encrypted channels, including cable-only stations such as CNN, ESPN, A&E, and FX. However, after first setting up your EyeTV, you may find that none of these digital stations are included in your channel listing. All you’re likely to see are over-the-air channels (such as CBS and ABC). What’s up? As Elgato explains:

Cable companies don’t share listings of what Clear QAM channels are available in any one city. Cable companies assume that a cable box will be used to get all digital cable channels. So, all EyeTV users with Clear QAM channels have to map most of them by hand.

In other words, this problem is not really a bug that Elgato can fix. Rather, it’s a deliberate annoyance promoted by cable companies.

So how do you map things by hand? It’s all explained in an Elgato support document. Briefly:

  1. Select Channels from the Library items in the left column of the EyeTV Programs window.
  2. From the pop-up menus in the EPG column, shift from None to your channel guide service (such as TitanTV) for each unidentified channel.
  3. From the window that drops down, select the station’s name and click Assign.

USB 1.1 error?

When you connect a 2009 model EyeTV Hybrid to a USB 2.0 port, you may get a message that erroneously states: “The device will not operate because it is connected to a USB 1.1 port.” How do you fix this? Another Elgato support document offers several suggestions, starting with simply unplugging/replugging the EyeTV and ending with restarting your Mac.

The larger problem is that all of these solutions are probably only temporary. Most likely, the symptom will keep coming back periodically. Fortunately, there is a hopeful permanent fix. If you haven’t already done so, upgrade to the recently released 3.1.1 version of the EyeTV software. Among the several bug fixes in this update, it offers “improved USB performance of EyeTV Hybrid US 2009 after starting up the Macintosh.” Elgato informed me that this statement translates into: “It should fix the ‘USB 1.1 port’ bug.”

In the unlikely case that even this does not solve the problem, you may have a defective Hybrid. Contact Elgato about possibly getting a replacement unit.

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