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Elgato Netstream DTT

Publicity picture of the EyeTV Netstream DTT.

I bought one of these recently, and I really like it. It magically plonks digital terrestrial TV and radio onto your network, so you don’t have to beat up your broadband connection to get it. But you can read all that on the Elgato website; there are just a few brief things I wanted to mention.

Power PC Compatibility

Elgato state that you need an Apple Mac with an Intel processor to be able to use the Netstream DTT. This isn’t entirely true. You can use it with PowerPC machines so long as you use EyeTV v3.3.1, which is provided on the install CD with the Netstream and it works a charm. Seeing as we still use a PowerMac G4 and an iMac G4, that’s pretty handy. Keep that CD safe, though – Elgato don’t provide v3.3.1 as a download in their past versions list.

Any other version of EyeTV will refuse to see the Netstream as a device on a PPC machine, so you are lumbered with just that version, but it’s worked perfectly for me. Slightly disappointing that Elgato won’t support PPC when it obviously can work, but then you can always use VLC. That’s where the Netstream gets particularly cool.


You can call up a nice javascript page on the Netstream, which gives you plenty of information about what the device is doing. It’s all very friendly and attractive, and provides you with a little button on the Channels page where you can download a .m3u file. Drop this into VLC and you get ‘raw’ access to any of the channels on the device. The format is very simple and a quick peek at the file shows that the Netstream switches tuners when http://<netstream_ip>/stream/channelX is accessed. You can use the playlist file, or just throw those URLs into VLC and it will play them perfectly (although remember to tweak your deinterlacing settings). For example, http://< netstream_ip>/stream/channel1 would play back BBC1 in my house.


To finish off, if you go to http://< netstream_ip>/status you’ll be presented with a less friendly (actually, more friendly if you’re a CLI type), but potentially very useful HTML page containing system loads, device and network information, and details on what the two tuners are doing. Because the Netstream only updates it’s channel list via EyeTV, it might be useful to know that http://< netstream_ip>/status/m3u can be used to grab a fresh copy of the playlist file without messing around with the javascript.

Finally, that little Netstream box runs Linux.

NB: Updated slightly in November 2014.

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