Please help identify this weird RF connector?
March 22, 2009 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Can anybody identify or adapt this connector on my Terratec cinergy 850e PVR box?

This device is labeled [ Cinergy 850e PVR] and is apparently made by TerratecI bought this thing out of the $.99 bin at a local thrift store, so I don't have most of the cabling that shipped with it. This website review refers to it as a 'European slip-on connector', but that's not exactly lighting up Google.

It's too big to be an RCA connector, dosen't have bayonet lugs like a BNC connector - The center is too big to be an F-Connector. The outside metal ring is exactly 1cm in Diameter, if that gives any help...
posted by Orb2069 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Looks like it's a specially made connector for use with a dongle, unless I'm looking at the wrong end. Either way the middle paragraph should help.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 8:56 PM on March 22, 2009

Best answer: It's a standard european co-ax connector. I can't tell from the photo it it's male or female (female has a hollow center pin). They're push-fit.

Radioshack (incorrectly) calls them "PAL Connectors", like this one: Male-F to European PAL Adapter.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2009

Best answer: There's more information on the (not exactly intuitively named) Wikipedia page for "TV Aerial Plug".

The connector type, I've just discovered (I was curious, so I looked around a bit), is called the Belling-Lee or IEC169-2 connector, if you want more information.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 9:20 PM on March 22, 2009

As far as I can tell, the device itself is also known as the Elgato EyeTV 250, which is a broadcast analog TV mpeg encoder for a Mac - they're pretty expensive here, even though it only comes with a usb cable!

Basicially, it connects directly to a UK/european co-ax aerial socket for the analog feed, with a standard male-male european aerial fly lead. It definitely looks like a female connector with the hollow centre pin on the device to me. They're very similar to a RCA connector, but a slightly different shape.

It can also be used to record the output of a VHS tape player over the co-ax aerial socket - the original way to setup a VHS tape player was to run the aerial socket direct to the tape player, allowing it to tune in and record shows, and then feed the aerial lead from the aerial out on the VHS player back to the TV, where it could see both the original broadcast signal and an additional channel for VHS playback of recordings.

the elgato works by tuning into this channel via the aerial socket, low quality as it is; or of course tuning into a standard broadcast TV channel.

It can also use the svideo or composite input for VHS players that have those as well; svideo is the best quality of the three. Presumably you could record the output of a cable box or the like over svideo also.

Digital broadcasts over the aerial (freeview/DVB-T) also use the same co-ax socket standard, though cable and satellite use a US-style screw connector, though it isn't compatible with any of those.

The question is, assuming that device was made for the european market, whether it can also record US analog broadcast TV with a suitable socket adapter like Nice Guy Mike's link, or whether the channel range differences are beyond it's capabilities - plus whether it can handle NTSC in addition to PAL - from my quick research, it looks like they made NTSC and PAL versions, but not both at once.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:19 PM on March 22, 2009

Though now I think about it, recording analog broadcast US TV off the aerial is a bit of a moot point now, given you're right in the middle of your digital switchover. Probably why it was 99c!

Might be useful for recording analog sources via svideo or composite though, assuming you can work past the PAL/NTSC problem.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:30 PM on March 22, 2009

Also, broadcast analog TV isn't going to be switched off entirely in the UK until 2012, and the current 'plus' version with digital tuner as well is going for over $200 on ebay - but it's probably worth at least $100-$150 in the UK as a VHS encoder alone.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:41 PM on March 22, 2009

I have (maybe almost) that exact same box, marketed as an EyeTV 250. The connector in question is similar to an RCA connector and the box came with a little adapter to hook up an F-type screw-on cable connector as used for cable TV in the USA.

You could probably buy a replacement adapter (if you need one) from Terratec or Elgato, or hunt around at an electronics surplus place depending on what you need to hook it up to. Make sure anything you try to plug into that is an RF-modulated signal on 75 ohm cable.

I'm pretty sure the reason it comes with that connector standard is that it was designed to be used in Europe (Terratec) and then marketed in the US by Elgato who included the adapter for F-type connector.
posted by bigtex at 3:06 AM on March 23, 2009

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