Best way to record TV

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jimsowden, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    There seems to be a plethora of solutions out there for people like me. I want this thread to help all us mac users, but for my intents and purpose here's my setup; I have a G5 and a multifunction LCD that is hooked up to a terrestrial DTV receiver for HDTV. I have cable available, but not hooked up. I want to start recording things, but don't know the best solution.

    I was thinking of a replay tv or tivo, but i hate the monthly charge or $300 one time charge for something titantv does for free for ever. Amazon has a replay tv for $54, but thats $350, and I don't want to do that.

    Second is the options for getting the cable into my PC. The one for the mac I've seen is the eyetv, which has a unit for cable, digital cable, and OTA DTV, but that puts up in the same price range. Plus, now were talking about the G5 being on when i want to record in the same room i sleep (hot and loud)

    The third is to not bother. I would like to record stuff, but it won't kill be not to.

    My real question is what you have, or what you reccomend. Any tips, tricks?

    I would love to hear a way of hacking tivo or replay tv, that would rock. I'm leaning on the eyetv usb for cable, although there is a plextor unit on their site that directly encodes to DiVX (mad small size).
     
  2. jimsowden thread starter macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

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    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #2
    any ideas? I think this would be a good discussion.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Apr 24, 2003
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    Colly-fornia
    #3
    Cable and satellite providers offer DVR boxes for $5/month/box or so. Most boxes offer an RCA out that you can use to convert to VHS, or if you had a Dazzle-type device, directly to your computer. Dazzle was about $200 last time I looked.
     
  4. jimsowden thread starter macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    Yeah, comcast has one for an additional 10 a month, on top of me having to get digital cable, which I don't need deu to my free HDTV source. Plus, thats an ongoing fee which I try to avoid at all costs.
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #5
    It's a toss up. $10/month or you can pay $350 or so up front. Ask yourself if in 35 months you would want to go out an get a new TiVo type device. If so, a low monthly cost isn't so bad.
     
  6. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #6
    I pay $10/month for an HDTV DVR - you can't get one of those for $300. It's changed the way I watch TV. I very rarely watch anything but Hi-Def. Besides getting what you get with terrestrial, I get ESPNHD, INHD, INHD2, HBOHD, ShowtimeHD, CinemaxHD and StarzHD. I also get what you get probably get OTA, ABCHD, NBCHD and PBSHD. Still waiting for Discovery, Fox, TNT, WB and CBS...

    BTW - there's a huge thread here about recording HDTV to your Mac over Firewire.
     
  7. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #7
    I really like my Tivo - now if I'm watching a TV without Tivo it seems as if it's broken somehow. I've looked at the other lower-cost alternatives, but their interfaces and limited functionality pretty much suck rocks compared to Tivo's (my opinion, anyway). You get what you pay for.

    I haven't tried ReplayTV though. The consensus seems to be that it has a less intuitive interface, but is even more flexible than Tivo in some respects. However ReplayTV is the same cost as Tivo.

    I am currently paying the monthly fee rather than coughing over the lifetime subscription though. Things still seem to be pretty much up in the air regarding what's going to happen when the HDTV switch becomes mandatory, so I don't want to dump any more money than necessary into my current equipment (The Tivo, the TV, etc.).
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    I have ReplayTV and haven't played around with TiVo that much, but my comments are kinda similar to his. Well, not the HDTV part *smirks* ....I'm not holding my breath for the HDTV switch. ;)

    But you already have HDTV, right? I'm not sure if these things -- Replay or TiVo or EyeTV -- are compatible with it at all? And I think you're probably not going to be at all happy with the kind of space realtime recording of anything that approaches HDTV quality is going to take on your hard disk...

    ReplayTV isn't super intuitive, but anyone who's a computer geek should be able to handle it fine. And DVArchive lets you do all kinds of fun stuff with your unit and your Mac. Although I'm sure there's something almost identical for Tivo. I went with Replay because it had built-in ethernet, but I don't think it costs that much to add a USB-to-ethernet dongle to the TiVo.

    I paid the $300. I think the $350 is not that bad, although I have an iBook so I really wasn't thrilled about any computer based solution. I haven't seen eyeTV, but a lot of the Windows recording cards don't seem to do as nice a job as the dedicated units do.

    Anyway, though, I think if you think of the whole lump sum as the cost of the unit, and ignore that you're paying $300 for the service portion, it makes it feel not-so-bad.

    Anyway, though, one solution or another, they're all addictive. Being able to record your favorite show on any channel at any time and keep a bunch of them on there, with basically two or three remote control clicks is amazing. I never have to channel surf.
     
  9. jimsowden thread starter macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

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    Location:
    NY
    #9
    Ok. Most of what I watch isn't HDTV, so I am happy with SDTV quality. Not that bad at all. I wish someone would make a set that would be just cost, no monthly fee. It wouldn't be that hard. Maybe I will, and it will trump all these loosers.
     
  10. OryHara macrumors regular

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    San Bruno, CA
  11. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

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  12. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #12
    I use an EyeTV 400 DVB-T receiver and it's fantastic. It works with FTA standard/high def digital TV here in Australia, El Gato also have products for satellite, cable, analog TV. Check out El Gatos webpage to see if they have an EyeTV product that might do what you want?
     
  13. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #13
    Not to steal your thread here, but I want to do a similar thing with my powerbook 867 with standard cable. Which EYETV device is for me ?
     
  14. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #14
    I'm interested in the EyeTV 200, because it will work with cable.
     
  15. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Northern California
    #15
    I looked at this thread and determined that Firewire was the cheapest best way to record HDTV for me. I currently have a comcast box and I think this is a firewire jack, but I'm not sure. I don't really want to order a firewire cable if it isn't a firewire jack. Anyone have an opinion. Sorry about the picture. I had to take it with a cell.
     

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  16. The Black Rock macrumors regular

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    Feb 14, 2005
    #16
  17. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #17
    If you FireWire from a cable box to a Mac you can then use VirtualDVHS (I think it comes in one of the Apple SDKs; Google it) to save stuff to your Mac.


    But if you have analog cable like I do, an EyeTV 200 hooked to the G5 is a good option as I understand, but a TiVo is hard to beat.
     

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