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Working With Digital Cable and Satellite Receivers

One concern about EyeTV is using it with digital cable and satellite receivers. Both these technologies offer a wider range of channels than basic/analog cable or antenna transmission. However, they also both require a set-top box to interpret the digital signal and pass audio and video on to your TV. That set-top box actually acts as your TV tuner, which is why you use a remote specific to that box and not the remote included with your TV to change channels and view program guides.

Much like a TV, EyeTV cannot make sense of a digital cable or satellite signal on its own. You can easily connect the S-video or composite video and audio feeds from the set-top box to the appropriate EyeTV inputs and then view and record from it. However, this renders the built-in channel changing and recording capabilities of the EyeTV software moot because you will need to ensure that the set-top box is turned on and configured for the correct channel to record.

There are hardware devices and software that can be added to an EyeTV setup to work around this problem. They work by giving the EyeTV application a mechanism to actually send commands to the set-top box as if it is the box’s remote. iEye Captain is an application that offers this feature and other enhancements to EyeTV. iEye Captain is a $30 application and its developer offers bundles that include the required hardware to manage recording via a set-top box.

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