Apple TV Tuner

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by TrumanApple, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. TrumanApple macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    #1
    I was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions for a good tv tuner. I want one that will work with windows and mac since i have other non mac computers that i would want this to work with... any suggestions...?
     
  2. TrumanApple thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    #2
    I am also looking for one that is pretty good in quality...
     
  3. derajfast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #3
    i know some cable boxes have firewire/usb ports in the back...you can plug that in to your mac, and im pretty sure theres a free software/script out there that lets you record and such a la tivo.....dont know much else, sorry
     
  4. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #4
    USB tuners will not provide good quality, but are very cheap. USB2 will, but I don't think there are any USB2 tuners that work on both PC and Mac. (Elgato makes one that might, if you use their driver on the Mac and ATI's driver on the PC... but I dunno if you can do that.)

    Firewire tuners provide good quality, but are expensive. They are usually known as "DV bridges." They output a DV video stream which can be used with apps like iMovie (for capturing) and Vidi (for watching). A few of them include TV tuners, like the Formacs, but most don't - you'd have to hook up a VCR. Sorry that I don't have any specific recommendations. Formac makes them with remotes & TV tuners ($$$), Sony makes/made them, Canopus makes/made one but I don't remember the model, and there was a cheaper one called the Dazzle Hollywood which you can find for usually under $150 on eBay.
     
  5. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #5
    Side note

    (Skip this if you need capturing ability)

    I bought an LG LST-3200 HDTV tuner off eBay for $95. It has DVI and RGB outputs. My monitor has DVI and RGB in. I plug my Mac into the RGB (it doesn't do DVI) and the tuner into the DVI. Works like a charm with over-the-air HDTV. Cable/satellite would be encrypted but would still work through the RGB. If you have a widescreen montior you can get full 720p. (You can get it with a regular 1280x1024 monitor too, but it will have to be either cropped or horizontally squished, since most monitors don't have vertical squishing ability.) Obviously you can't capture video this way, but $95 for hi-def with a remote control is pretty nice.
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
  7. monke macrumors 65816

    monke

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #7
    Also looking for a tv tuner, is there any for an iMac?
     
  8. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #8
    Yes. You're going to want a USB 2.0 tuner, and most people prefer the Elgato for Mac use. Plextor also makes a ConvertX TV tuner (I own two of the PC versions) that works with EyeTV on the Mac. Since the hardware is the same, I think the Plextor is excellent (but it's one of the rare breed that does hardware decoding and is external--difficult to find on the PC side).

    The Elgato may have a remote, and both are going to cost around $200+.

    EDIT: The Plextor ConvertX TV402 works with both PCs and Macs, if you have the appropriate software. Fantastic!
     
  9. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #9
    FORMAC FireWire TV Tuner
     
  10. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #10
    I would go with the FORMAC TV Tuner. ;) :)
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #11
    Or just get/use a cheap VCR and an analog->digital converter box. That'll work on anything with Firewire.
     
  12. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    For $200, you can get a Plextor PVR (don't remember exact name, but there's Mac and PC versions.) Basic info-

    USB2
    Hardware compression into MPEG1/2/Divx
    Uses Elgato EyeTV software for Mac version
    Hooks into TitanTV.com for PVR functionality
    Pretty nice looking silver unit, not too big
    Cable in, composite in, s-video in
    You can convert from other video sources (VCR, etc.)
    Not HDTV, but good quality

    It's a pretty nice little unit. It has a lot of compression options, too bad none are playable on the new iPod (but you can of course re-encode.)
     
  13. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #13
    It's the ConvertX PX-TV402U, and it does actually encode in MPEG4, which the iPod can play. You have to play with it a little bit to get the resolution and bitrate correct, though. It's plenty cheaper than the Formac, but it doesn't have the outputs.
     
  14. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    Holy cow, I didn't even know you could create custom compression specs. I was just looking at the presets, which don't fit the iPod very well.

    I am going to mess around and try to create the best VGA-level compression scheme I can. This is going to be pretty cool...

    Thanks!
     
  15. Aliquis macrumors regular

    Aliquis

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #15
    I just received a few Elgato Eye TV USB units from a friend that he wanted me to sell off for him. I hooked one up to our mac in the living room and I've been amazed with it! It does scheduling and viewing (you can pause, rewind, fast forward, etc.) without any problems, and the quality is actually really good!

    Anywho, he wanted me to sell them for him, but I'm going to keep one. We are really loving the Eye TV unit.

    Hopefully that helps in your decision. We've been super impressed with it, and the quality has been great. I also hooks up with the free Titan TV to do remote scheduling, etc.

    (if anyone would like one, I have a couple left)
     
  16. Variant macrumors 6502

    Variant

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #16
    Can someone please explain this process in more detial?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  17. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #17
    Sure. Basically, you get one of those basic DV bridges (the ones with the RCA inputs and a USB or Firewire connection to your computer), and you use your VCR as the TV tuner. Connect the cable to your VCR, and run standard RCA cables from the VCR's output to the DV bridge.

    The problem with this approach is that you can't pause live TV, you don't have that much control over quality or recording settings (beyond whatever capture software you use), and you can't schedule recordings from your computer or from the VCR. You'll also not be able to watch anything else while recording or use your VCR for anything while you're watching TV on your computer.

    Basically, you're paying to watch live TV only, because you have to be there to start and stop recordings manually. But if you don't plan to record anything or don't want to be able to pause and resume shows, it's the cheapest solution.
     
  18. johnelwayfan7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
  19. notdavid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #19
    The AppleTV is a PlayBack device, NOT a video encoder, completely different device.
    I own four Plextor TV-402U's, they work incredibly well on both PC, and Mac. If you purchase the Mac version you get the incredible EyeTV2 software, and you can purchase the PC software from Plextor for $40, Also, for you linux gurus, Plextor offers a free SDK. Also, MythTV supports the Plextor box.
    EyeTV2 has a one button encoding solution for outputting to your iPod, it will also record and output AutoMagically if you don't like pushing buttons!

    -ND
     

Share This Page