Once upon a time, I ruminated about watching EyeTV recordings via my Roku. In the end, for a number of reasons, I rolled my own solution using AppleScript, my Turbo.264, and Apache. This solution works extremely well for my specific situation, but it only works for my situation and there is at least some interest in a more generic solution. With that in mind, I spent a little time this week reexamining the possibilities.
EyeTV is capable of serving both recordings and live TV in a format that the Roku can play, but there are a couple drawbacks. The biggest of these is quality. EyeTV records stuff in a format that is not Roku compatible, so the only way to get recordings to play on the Roku is by having EyeTV “prepare” them for iPhone access. The is a mechanism in EyeTV that does just what you expect. It allows you to watch your recordings on your iDevice. However, because iDevices have small screens, EyeTV encodes recordings for them with pretty low quality settings. When you try to play those recordings on a large screen, the result is less than great.
The other problem is specific to live TV. EyeTV has a mechanism that allows you to watch live TV on your iDevice as well. As you would probably assume, this mechanism suffers from the same quality issues that recordings do. In addition, for live TV viewing to work, EyeTV needs to be running on a pretty powerful machine.
Despite all that. I still wanted to at least see if it could be done.
I was able to put together a channel for my Roku that connects directly to EyeTV and allows me to watch my recordings, provided that EyeTV has prepared them for iPhone access. I can also use it to watch live TV although that experience is not very good because, in my case EyeTV is running on a Mac mini that’s starting to show its age.
For me, the home baked AppleScript/Turbo.264/Apache solution is superior. It doesn’t allow me to watch live TV, but that’s not really something I’m interested in. What it does allow me to do is watch my EyeTV recordings on the Roku encoded at much higher quality than the direct EyeTV route does.
This project has been mostly for amusement and will probably be filed under “because I can” and forgotten about. But if anyone else out there is interested in playing with it, you should feel free to hit me up for the details.