USB-C converted to older interfaces


Well-Known Member
I am trying to do a little bit of learning about the various interfaces I presently use and the newer ones I will encounter if I ever move away from my Mid-2011 iMac, which offers Firewire 800, Thunderbolt and USB-2.

Two devices I use are:

1. External CD / DVD reader / burner which is Firewire 400 (and connects via FW 400 to FW 800 cable). It is not a big concern as it would be easy and cheap to replace with a newer device.

2. My beloved EyeTV 200 - This venerable antique refuses to die in spite of throwing off tons of heat and is used almost daily to provide TV content on my screen while doing other important work (Solitaire). It also uses a FW 400 interface and is daisy chained with that external DVD drive. As long as El Gato keeps the EYETV software working with the latest OS version I want to keep this box going.

In the future I am unlikely to be buying a new Mac with Firewire, and possibly not Thunderbolt either (unless I go for another iMac) and could possibly be limited to USB-C port(s).

I see there are cables to adapt from USB-C to USB (not clear if they provide USB 2 or USB 3).

Also I have seen listings (eBay, Amazon etc.) for USB 2 to firewire adapters from (questionable) 3rd party makers but not sure if they would work for this (EyeTV) application.

While my FW 400 is theoretically slower than the USB 2 spec, I have seen articles that suggest in use, it turns out to be generally faster so a USB-C to USB 2 adapter followed by a USB 2 to Firewire 400 adapter may be just too much of a kludge for such use.

I would appreciate any thoughts on such a path…


Well-Known Member
I too have an old FW400 disc burner that I can (were I still burning discs) attach to my 2012 using a FW800-to-400 adapter. As you note, this would be pretty nonsensical to adapt to USB-C/TB3 to keep using as replacements are cheap and widespread.

The EyeTV is another matter. If you're really determined to keep it going, there are TB3 hubs that offer FW800 ports, so you could using the aforementioned 400 adapter with that hub (and a Mac with Thunderbolt), but ... you're looking at around $300 (US) for that dock. It might work with the 400-to-800 adapter plugged into an old FW800-to-TB2 adapter plugged into the TB2-to-TB3 adapter, but that's a lot of money to risk on what you rightly call a kludge.

Bottom line ... I would start researching modern variations on the EyeTV 200 from other makers.