How to convert EyeTV recordings to H.264 using VisualHub

I use VisualHub to convert EyeTV recordings to H.264 because it gives me more control over scale and quality than the export function of EyeTV.

  • Determine the resolutions of the recording: Select the Recording in EyeTV, choose Export, choose MPEG Program Stream … observe the resolution … cancel the export
  • Determine the resolution of the image (sometimes smaller than the recording): Play the recording half size, Pause, Used Shift-Command-4 to make a Snap-Shot of the image area, in Finder use Get Info on the Snap-Shot Picture file to see the resolution of the image area, (if it was played half-size then double the resolution dimensions)
  • Decide the desired resolution of the converted file: I like 640×360 or 960×540 for 16:9 content
  • Determine the cropping required for this conversion (if the image is smaller than the recording (black on sides or top & bottom):
    • (recording height – image height) / 2 = Top & Bottom crops
      example (1080 – 840) / 2 = 120 each Top & Bottom
    • (recording width – image width) / 2 = Left & Right crops
      example (1920 – 1440) / 2 = 240 each Left & Right
  • VisualHub cropping happens before scalling. Therefore if the image is smaller than the resolution of the EyeTV recording then calculate the cropping without regard for the desired resolution of the converted file.
  • And now a very useful trick, EyeTV recordings are store in packages that appear to be a single files with an extension of .eyetv. Control-Click on a .eyetv file and select Show Package Contents to reveal an mpg file that can be converted by VisualHub directly.
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